Primark sees a 75% fall in revenues over lockdown

COLOGNE, GERMANY - January 22, 2017: Lettering at Primark store.

Primark’s revenues have been hit hard over the lockdown period, with revenues falling 75% between 1 March and 20 June.

The retailer’s owner, Associated British Foods (LON: ABF), reported on Thursday revenue to fall by £800m to £582m and full-year profits to fall by two-thirds.

However, shares rallied in morning trading as the group said trading in stores had been “reassuring and encouraging” since reopening.

Primark has opened 367 of its 375 stores following the lockdown. The closure of stores led to a loss of £650m worth of sales every month.

“The absence of an online shopping site didn’t help and will have held it back when compared to its competitors, costing it £650m in sales every month of closure,” said Emma-Lou Montgomery from Fidelity Personal Investing. “But as we have seen, with queues forming from 5am on reopening day – open the stores and shoppers will come,” she added.

Since the reopening of stores, the retailer has seen long queues for entry around the country.

John Bason, the finance director of ABF, said that despite a cautious start sales will grow to be stronger than 2019.

“Things are about to evolve. Hospitality and travel are non-existent at the moment,” he said. “We consistently look at it and if we do something it will be something that works for Primark.”