Fed up of your job or the pressures of modern life? Ever felt like sacking it all in and going to live in the woods? Emma Orbach actually did it.
Primark sets trend for Christmas
Sales at budget retailer Primark grew over the Christmas period by a quarter
Fashion chain Primark showed rivals a clean pair of heels this Christmas as cash-strapped shoppers stocked up on budget trends.
Demand for Christmas jumpers and the popularity of all-in-one pyjamas, known as "onesies", helped drive a 25% increase in sales at the chain over the 16 weeks to January 5, parent company Associated British Foods said.
The group's 14 store openings in Europe, including its second shop on London's Oxford Street, helped boost the figures but City experts suggest the like-for-like result excluding expansion still rose by 9% in the period.
The better-than-expected performance for Primark is in contrast to rival Marks & Spencer, which saw like-for-like sales of general merchandise - which includes clothes - dip by almost 4% in its Christmas figures.
Neil Shah, analyst at Edison Investment Research, said: "Primark has delivered a lesson in clothing retailing to the UK high street with the best of any sales figures over the final quarter."
Primark's strong Christmas comes on the back of a 15% jump in operating profits and a 3% hike in like-for-like sales at its year end in September.
The group, which has 256 Primark stores in Europe, also said lower cotton prices had pushed profit margins ahead of the same period last year.
AB Foods - the owner of British Sugar as well as household brands Kingsmill, Ryvita and Twinings - said the strong performance from Primark had helped boost group revenues, which were up 10%.
Sales in its grocery arm were flat, but it said it had seen strong growth in its tea business in the UK and US, and for Ovaltine in developing markets.
Sugar revenues were 12% ahead of last year, but the group warned profits would be lower because of smaller production levels and higher sugar beet cost.
related stories on msn
more on msn money
msn money poll
New research has found that families are spending an average of £180 on back-to-school supplies for their kids. Does this tally with your experience?
Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results
- Yes, that sounds about right to me
- Yes, but I think school supplies are getting more expensive every year
- No, the cost of new uniforms, stationery and sports kit takes us well past the £200 mark
- No, I wouldn’t spend anything like that amount on the little horrors!