Will Brexit make Penneys clothes more expensive?

Its margins have been tightened by the vote...

Penneys has promised to not raise prices as its parent company faces a post-Brexit vote squeeze on its profit margins.

Associated British Foods (ABF), which owns Primark / Penneys has felt the effects of the weakening of sterling since the referendum vote.

It buys many products in US dollars, meaning that sinking pound values have made these goods more expensive. However, Primark had insurance which protected it from recent currency fluctuations when it placed previous orders, meaning that its bottom line has not been hit yet.


"At current exchange rates, [our] margin will be adversely affected in the new financial year. Primark is committed to leading the value sector of the market with its on-trend product offering and maintenance of its price leadership position in clothing," the company said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Penneys confirmed to Newstalk that this commitment to not increasing prices "absolutely extends to Penneys."

"Ireland delivered a strong performance throughout the year, Spain, France and Austria traded well, and the Netherlands and Germany improved," ABF continued in this morning's statement.

Investors reacted negatively to today's statement

Primark's sales in the 53 weeks to September 17th rose by 9% when currency fluctuations were factored out, but the company added that sales suffered the impact of an unusually warm winter, and a colder-than-expected spring.

ABF has warned that Primark's results will be affected by these fluctuations during its new financial year, which begins on September 18th. If the pinch isn't felt by customers it might have to be passed on to investors.