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Primark’s Christmas trading hit by warmest December in 100 years

Primark owner Associated British Foods said the chain's trading dipped over Christmas as it was hit by the unusually warm winter weather.


The clothing chain, which runs 299 stores across Europe and the US, said like-for-like sales were weaker in the final nine weeks to January 2 covering the festive season.

However, the group said Primark’s sales were up 7% across the whole of its 16-week period to January 2 , as it opened six new stores during that time.

High street bellwethers Next and Marks & Spencer last week posted falls in trading over Christmas, as they coped with the warmest December in over 100 years.

AB Foods added that total sales across the group lifted 3%, but fell 2% at actual exchange rates as it was buffeted by a weak euro and a strong dollar.

The Silver Spoon-to-Twinings firm said it planned to open six more Primark stores in the US this year and will also open its first outlet in Italy in the summer.

AB Foods, which also has a major sugar business, said it expects to see an improvement in sugar prices due to tightening stock levels in China and the European Union.

It said: “2015/16 is forecast to be the first year of global sugar deficit for five years which has resulted in some improvement in world prices.”