Primark to repay £121 million in furlough money regardless of falling gross sales

Primark’s proprietor will repay £121 million in furlough cash claimed underneath authorities job retention schemes and pay out a dividend to shareholders regardless of a stoop in earnings.

Related British Meals (ABF) stated the choice comes regardless of shops remaining closed for a lot of the autumn and winter interval, resulting in revenues and earnings plunging.

Gross sales had been down 17% to £6.3 billion and adjusted working earnings fell 50% to £319 million within the six months to February 27.

Chief govt George Weston stated the repayments could be made as he was assured shops will turn into money generative following the easing of restrictions in England and Wales, the place 40% of Primark promoting area is situated.

He stated: “We’re enthusiastic about welcoming clients again into our shops because the lockdowns ease and are delighted with file gross sales in England and Wales within the week after reopening on 12 April.

“With our success in quite a few new markets, as wide-ranging as Poland and Florida, we’re as satisfied as we have now ever been within the long-term progress prospects for Primark.”

On the furlough scheme, he stated the corporate claimed £98 million throughout the earlier monetary yr to help Primark’s 65,000 workforce.

“An additional £79 million was claimed within the six months to February 27 and up till at present the quantity is now £121 million, the corporate stated.

Chairman Michael McLintock added: “Though uncertainty stays, a big proportion of the UK grownup inhabitants has now been vaccinated and final week we noticed the profitable reopening of Primark’s English and Welsh shops which symbolize some 40% of our whole retail promoting area.

Primark to repay £121 million in furlough cash despite falling sales