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Associated British Foods plc COVID-19 Update

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02 November 2020


Associated British Foods plc today issues an update in the light of increasing restrictions on the movement of people and trading activity being put in place by governments to restrict the spread of COVID-19 in many of the markets where Primark trades.

As of today, all Primark stores in the Republic of Ireland, France, Belgium, Wales, Catalonia in Spain and Slovenia are temporarily closed, which represent 19% of our total retail selling space. The announced period of closure varies by market. The UK Government announced its intention to close non-essential shops in England for one month from 5 November to 2 December. Assuming that this will be passed by the UK Parliament on 4 November, 57% of our total selling space will be temporarily closed from 5 November.

Our estimated loss of sales for these stores, including the stores in England, for the announced periods of closure is £375m.

Trading hours are also restricted in a number of other markets. Uncertainty about further temporary store closures in the short-term remains.

We are implementing the operational plans developed to manage the consequences of these closures and appropriate action will be taken to reduce operating costs. All orders placed with our suppliers will be honoured.

At the year end the group had net cash before lease liabilities of £1,558m. Excluding debt, the group had gross cash before lease liabilities of £2,030m which, together with £1,088m of undrawn committed Revolving Credit Facilities provide £3,118m of group liquidity.

Our Annual Results Announcement for the year ended 12 September 2020 will be released as planned tomorrow, 3 November and there will be an analyst and investor presentation at 09.00am GMT which will be streamed online and accessed via our website here.

 

Announced Store Closures

Region

No. of Stores Closed

Closing

Date

Planned

Reopening

No of days closed

Republic of Ireland

36

22 October

1 December

40

Wales

8

24 October

9 November

16

Slovenia

1

26 October

TBC

6

France

19

30 October

1 December

32

Spain – Catalonia

6

30 October

14 November

15

Belgium

8

2 November

13 December

41

England

153

5 November

2 December

27

Stores not trading

231




Stores trading

156

 

 

 

All Primark stores

387




For further enquiries please contact:
Associated British Foods

John Bason, Finance Director
Catherine Hicks, Corporate Affairs Director
Tel: 020 7399 6545

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Tel: 020 7638 9571
Chris Barrie Tel: 07968 727289
Jos Bieneman Tel: 07834 336650
Elizabeth Kittle Tel: 07720 498455

 
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