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COVID-19: Primark to return £ 121million in leave money as reopening triggers ‘record sales’ | Economic news

The Primark owner has revealed he is due to return £ 121million to taxpayers while reporting ‘record’ sales for the fashion chain as stores reopen after coronavirus lockdowns.

Associated British Foods (ABF) used its half-year results, which showed a halving of profits, to announce the payback.

The company said it was returning money through job retention programs during the COVID-19[female[feminine crisis to date, including £ 72million to the UK government, as it also revealed a payment to shareholders despite the blow to the company from the forced shutdown of store-only Primark during lockdowns.

Buyers line up outside Primark in Norwich as England take another step back to normal with further easing of lockdown restrictions.  Photo date: Monday, April 12, 2021.
Buyers lined up outside Primark in Norwich last week

ABF has repeatedly ruled out online chain trading.

The group, which also owns large sugar, grocery, agriculture and ingredients companies, said it made an adjusted profit before tax of £ 319million in the six months to February 27.

That was down from £ 636million in the same period last year.

Group revenue fell 17% to £ 6.3bn – due to trade restrictions imposed on Primark which recorded a 90% drop in operating profits to £ 43m.

Primark was able to reopen in England and Wales last week – accounting for 40% of its retail space – to record record demand with large queues in many cities as customers searched for summer fashion after a miserable winter.

ABF chief executive George Weston said vacation payouts, which protected up to 65,000 jobs across Primark’s global domain, would be made as stores become cash-generating again.

He told investors: “We are delighted to welcome customers back to our stores as lockdowns ease and we are delighted with record sales in England and Wales in the week following the reopening on April 12.

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This notice was published: 2021-04-20 06:53:00