Primark commits to supplier orders despite £375m second lockdown loss

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Primark owner Associated British Foods said it is set to lose £375 million after a new lockdown is imposed in the UK from Thursday.

ABF has said that if the lockdown restrictions are passed in Parliament on 4th November, 57% of its total selling space will be temporarily closed from 5th November until at 2nd December.

The retail owner has said that it has begun restricting its trading hours in various stores across the EU, including the UK.

It also said that it is implementing operational plans which were developed to manage the consequences of any lockdown closures, and “Appropriate action will be taken to reduce operating costs.”

It added that “All orders placed with our suppliers will be honoured.”

ABF said that, at the end of its financial year on 12th September, it had £1.5 billion in cash reserves, and total liquidity of around £3.1 billion including lending facilities.

In September, the company said that a summer boom in sales would help to increase its overall profit for this financial year.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said the retail sector as a whole faced a “nightmare before Christmas” as the government proposes to close thousands of retail premises under this new national lockdown.

“It will cause untold damage to the high street in the run up to Christmas, cost countless jobs, and permanently set back the recovery of the wider economy, with only a minimal effect on the transmission of the virus,’ she said.

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