Primark next in line to reveal Christmas trading figures

What will follow a tough November?
What will follow a tough November?

High street fashion giant Primark will be among the next batch of retailers to report back on their festive fortunes as the release of Christmas trading figures continues this week.

The Primark performance figures will be watched closely for how it has fared after it already warned trading has been “challenging” in the run-up to Christmas .

The update from owner Associated British Foods on Thursday will reveal whether it enjoyed a pick-up in the crucial Christmas weeks, given the boost seen by rival Next after a last-minute shopping rush.

Retail analyst Simon Bowler at Numis Securities is predicting Primark to post a 2% fall in like-for-like sales.

This would come alongside 5% revenue growth, driven by expansion.

He said: “Following the cautious statement on November trading made at the AGM, we have assumed a pick-up in December, as seen with peer Next.”

In November, AB Foods reported that like-for-like sales at Primark fell 2.1% in the year to September as bad weather weighed on trading in Europe.

In the group’s annual general meeting update a month later, it warned November had been “tough”, but stuck to its expectation for an increase in profits at Primark as a result of careful inventory management and improved margins.