Good morning, it's Paul here, for Thursday morning's report.

Please note that I was adding new sections to yesterday's report all day, up until finishing at 11:30pm! So it covers 10 companies in total. The new sections added later in the day/evening were: LoopUp, Redde, Topps Tiles, The Works, and Purplebricks. To see the full report, please click here.


Associated British Foods (LON:ABF)

Primark - is owned by ABF. It's a large cap obviously, but noteworthy for its comments today about retail. When the woes of the High Street are mentioned, it's often the internet that is blamed - rightly so, as something like 20% of retail sales in the UK have migrated online - devastating for physical retailers.

However, few people mention the impact on other clothing retailers & department stores, of the astonishing success & expansion of Primark. I think Primark's success probably had a lot to do with the demise of BHS, for example. Primark will also have eaten into the market share of many other retailers too. It's classless too. Plenty of middle class people shop there, jokingly calling in "Primani", so it's not just the lower priced chains that will have suffered.

I always used to buy my basics from M&S, but now get them from Primark instead, at about a third of the price, for product which does the same job. Only the other day, I bought a rucksack full of holiday basics - 15 pairs of socks, 6 undercrackers, and 4 swimming shorts, all for about £36. Why go anywhere else, and pay vastly more?

This is what ABF says today about Primark recent trading;

Sales at Primark in the year-to-date were 4% ahead of last year at constant currency and actual exchange rates, driven by increased selling space partially offset by a decline in like-for-like sales.
In the UK the sales growth recorded in the first half continued in the third quarter and Primark recorded a further significant increase in market share. Like-for-like sales were held back by unseasonable weather in May which compared to a favourable market environment in the corresponding period last year. We have seen an improvement in sales in June

That echoes the comments made yesterday by comparatively miniscule Sosandar, giving credence to what they said.

Weather is very important for clothing…

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