Primark's UK business has toasted a “particularly strong” summer of trading as the budget chain continues to defy the uncertain economic climate.
The retailer, which has 242 stores across Europe, is expected to see revenues rise by 17% over its current financial year, which ends on Saturday.
The figure — excluding currency movements — includes “buoyant” trading in continental Europe, even though much of the region is mired in a debt crisis.
Associated British Foods, which owns Primark as well as household brands Kingsmill, Ryvita and Twinings, said profits for the second half of the financial period should be “substantially ahead” of last year.
It said its grocery customers continued to seek value through promotions and price but warned that recently higher wheat prices meant margins at its Kingsmill bread division were likely to come under further pressure.
At Primark, AB Foods estimated that, excluding the addition of 19 new stores over the year, sales will be 3% higher in the financial period, with the performance of recently opened shops exceeding expectations.
Primark has been the star performer within AB Foods over recent years as it has ridden the boom in demand for budget clothing on the high street.