Primark's profits boost.
PRIMARK has notched up a surge in half-year profits as British shoppers continue to flock to the budget retailer.
The firm, owned by Associated British Foods, saw adjusted operating profit jump 25% to PS426m in the six months to March 2, while sales grew 4% to PS3.6bn.
Like-for-like sales fell 1.5% overall but profit margins were "much higher", ABF said. In the UK, sales were up 2.3%, and comparable sales grew 0.6%.
The firm said its share of the clothing, footwear and accessories market in the UK increased substantially in the period, bucking the trend of wider high street malaise.
The strong Primark performance helped ABF record a 2% rise in turnover to PS7.5bn, although pre-tax profit was dragged down by a PS79mn exceptional charge linked to pensions and its bread-making arm.
Pre-tax profit came in 15% lower at PS515m in the period.
ABF's sugar unit also saw profits take a knock as the result of "significantly lower" prices which affected the industry. Profits dived from PS106m to PS1m.