Pri­mark and Boohoo next to re­veal Christ­mas sales

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - BUSINESS -

High street fash­ion gi­ant Pri­mark and on­line ri­val Boohoo will be among the next batch of re­tail­ers to re­port back on their fes­tive for­tunes.

Pri­mark 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.

Re­tail an­a­lyst at Nu­mis Se­cu­ri­ties Si­mon Bowler is pre­dict­ing Pri­mark will 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.

Boohoo is ex­pected to leave ri­vals in the shade when it up­dates to­mor­row, with Nu­mis pen­cilling in 38% growth in its third quar­ter, which cov­ers the cru­cial fes­tive sea­son.

It comes af­ter Boohoo booked a 50% rise in sales to £395.3 mil­lion in the six months to Au­gust 31, while pre-tax profit rock­eted 22% to £24.7m.

Christ­mas is un­likely to have been a cracker for em­bat­tled Sim­ply Be owner N Brown, which re­ports on Thurs­day.

Mr Bowler is ex­pect­ing rev­enues to de­cline by 0.6% over the Christ­mas sea­son.

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