Primark ‘could take two years to recover’ from coronavirus impact


Associated British Foods was out of fashion this morning after bosses laid bare the impact of the coronavirus on Primark, its star asset.

The homewares and clothing retailer will miss out on £650 million of sales for every month that the lockdown endures. All of its 376 stores have been closed since March 22.

Primark has also written off nearly £300 million of stock, presumably things such as Easter treats and decorations that it will struggle to sell when its shops are allowed to reopen. Analysts at Barclays said that they did not expect the retailer to fully recover until 2022.

Unsurprisingly, Associated British Foods has canned the interim dividend and its management, given the lingering uncertainty, have withdrawn guidance for the rest of the year.

The stock dropped 86½p, or 4.4 per cent, to £19.00, taking it towards the bottom of the blue-chip index, which itself headed sharply lower in morning trading.