International fast fashion retailer Primark has reported a robust 7.9% increase in sales for the first quarter [16 weeks] to 6 January 2024.  

Despite a slow start due to unseasonably warm weather, the retailer experienced strong Christmas 2023 trading and a surge in US sales. 

The retailer, which is owned by Associated British Foods, saw its like-for-like (LFL) sales grow by 2.1% in Q1 2024, driven by higher average selling prices.    

In the UK, Primark’s sales rose by 4.5% during the period, with LFL sales up by 3.8%.

The retailer’s market share in the UK climbed to a record 7.1% for the twelve weeks ending on 10 December 2023, a 0.1 percentage point increase from the same period of the previous year. 

Sales in Europe, excluding the UK, saw an 8.1% increase overall and a 1.3% rise in LFL sales.  

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By GlobalData

Performance varied across the region, however, with some countries excelling and others facing challenges due to strong year-on-year comparisons and local economic conditions.  

In contrast, the US market delivered a remarkable 45% growth, largely attributed to new store openings. 

Over the quarter, Primark launched eight new stores: three in France, three in the US and one outlet each in Spain and Poland.  

The company said in a statement: “Our product offer performed well in the period. Sales of womenswear and menswear were strong, particularly in performance wear, leisure and tailored clothing and in our Rita Ora collection.  

“We exited the period with stock levels in a good position. We continue to monitor the situation in the Red Sea but at this stage we do not expect any significant disruption to our supply chain.” 

The revenue of Associated British Foods reached £6.88bn ($8.74bn) for Q1 2024, representing a 5.4% increase on a constant currency basis and a 2.8% increase on an actual currency basis.