The expansion of its selling space has once again become the main driver of the Irish company: on a like-for-like basis, the group’s revenue decreased by 2%.
Primark slows down. The Irish low cost fashion company has closed 2018 with a growth of 4%, compared to 19% the previous year. New openings were again the main growth drive: like-for-like, shrunk its sales by 2%.
The operating income of the group rose 8%, to 913 million pounds (2 billion dollars), offsetting the bad evolution of other business areas of the AB Foods group, like Sugar.
Primark’s revenue, meanwhile, stood at 7.8 billion pounds (9 billion euros). By region, in the United Kingdom the company increased 2.5% with a “strong contribution from new selling space”. Sales, on the other hand, reduced by 1%, although “they were above the market average,” says the company.
Primark’s operative income was 7.8 billion pounds in its last fiscal year
During the last year, the company opened its largest store in Birmingham in the world, which includes food and beauty services for the first time. This model has also just been implemented in Spain with the opening at the Lagoh shopping center in Seville.
In the eurozone, Primark’s revenue grew 4.8% at constant currency rates, with “excellent growth” in Spain and France and good evolution in Italy and Belgium. During the last year, the group increased its commercial space by 8% and landed in Eastern Europe with the opening of its first store in Slovenia.
Comparable sales, on the other hand, fell 2.9%, due to a “weak” evolution in Germany, where a new managing director has been appointed. Excluding the German market, comparable sales in the eurozone fell 1.1%, but Primark emphasizes that they were positive in the last quarter. The company closed the year with a network of 373 stores.
Looking ahead to this year, the company also anticipates a margin drop at least in the first half due to the weak local currency. In the second half of the current year, however, the group raised its margins.