Primark owner Associated British Foods hailed a “resilient” year as it announced it would open 19 new stores in the next twelve months.

The food-and-fashion group revealed on Tuesday that both Primark and its grocery division saw rising profits.

The Primark fast-fashion empire grew sales 4 per cent to £7.8bn, partly thanks to 14 new stores in the UK and continental Europe.

While a succession of UK retailers have recently announced closures or called in the administrators, Primark unveiled ambitious plans for further expansion. 

Chief executive George Weston said: “In the next financial year, we are planning to add a net 1 million sq ft of additional selling space.”

He added: “We expect to open 19 new stores together with a number of relocations and extensions.” 

Despite growing fears about the environmental impact of cheap clothing as well as poor working conditions in some garment factories, demand for fast fashion remains buoyant.

Primark’s UK sales rose 2.5 per cent, which was faster than the wider market for clothing, footwear and accessories.

Sales in ABF’s grocery division increased by 3 per cent to £3.5bn, while its Allied Bakeries division, which makes Kingsmill, was hit by the loss of a major own-label supermarket contract and subsequently announced plans to shut its Cardiff factory.

Overall statutory pre-tax profits fell 8 per cent, dragged down by poor performance in ABF’s sugar business as well as the closure of other divisions. 

The stores set to open are:

New UK stores

  • Hastings
  • Bluewater
  • Belfast Donegall Place
  • Milton Keynes
  • Trafford Centre

Relocated UK stores

  • Harrow
  • Birmingham High Street
  • Newtownabbey

New European stores

  • Spain – Torre Sevilla
  • Spain – Almeria
  • France – Toulouse
  • France – Bordeaux
  • Germany – Berlin Zoom
  • Germany – Wuppertal
  • Germany – Bonn
  • Slovenia – Ljubljana
  • Belgium – Bruxelles Chaussée D’Ixelles
  • The Netherlands- Utrecht
  • Poland – Warsaw


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