UK's Primark expects strong trading when stores reopen - finance chief

FILE PHOTO: Signage is displayed outside a Primark store at the Oxford Street, in London, Britain July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Associated British Foods expects its Primark fashion chain to trade strongly in the United Kingdom when stores are allowed to re-open again after COVID-19 lockdowns, its finance chief said on Thursday.

“We know that people will welcome us back,” John Bason told Reuters.

He noted that in Austria, where Primark stores re-opened three weeks ago, like-for-like sales year-on-year were already positive.

Earlier, AB Foods warned it expected to lose sales worth 1.1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) from the lockdown of Primark stores in its first half to Feb. 27. It expects to lose a further 480 million pounds in its second half.

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Kate Holton