StockMarketWire.com - Associated British Foods said it expected to reopen 83% of Primark stores by 26 April, and forecast better-than-expected first-half performance for its grocery, sugar, agriculture and ingredients businesses.

'[W]e have likely reopening dates for 233 stores in addition to the 77 stores already open, so that 83% of our retail selling space should be trading by 26 April,' the company said.

Primark's adjusted operating profit in the first half,, was expected to be marginally above break-even, compared with a profit of £441m for the same period in the last financial year, following an estimated £1.1 billion loss owning to shuttered stores as a result of lockdowns in the UK and Europe.

Still, the company estimates the sales which will be lost during the second half of its financial year owing to store closures that would remain close would be around £480 million, or £170 million after taking into account cost cuts.

Primark plans to open 15 new stores for the year. Five in Spain, three in the US, two in Italy, one in each of the UK, France and the Netherlands.

In its other businesses including grocery, sugar, agriculture and ingredients were expect to generate first-half revenue and profit that would exceed expectations.




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