Primark has reported an uplift in sales at the half-year mark but like-for-likes slipped due to a slowdown in Europe.

The clothing retailer reported a 4% rise in sales year on year in the 24 weeks to March 2, although like-for-likes declined 2%.

The retailer said higher margins mean that its profits for the period will be “well ahead of the same period last year”.

The retailer’s UK sales rose 2% overall while like-for-likes were flat, as November’s low footfall was offset by strong trading during the rest of the period.

In January, Primark issued a warning that lackluster November trading had hampered sales growth, but reiterated its original profit guidance.

The fashion giant’s European sales increased 5% year-on-year bolstered by “particularly strong sales growth in Spain, France, Italy and Belgium.” However, like-for-like sales declined 3% during the period exacerbated by “difficult” trading in Germany.

The retailer’s selling space has incrased by 300,000 sq ft since the last financial year ended, and the retailer expects to open a further 900,000 sq ft of new selling space in its current financial year.

Primark’s parent company Associated British Food said that it expected to report a small reduction in adjusted operating profit at the interim mark due to reduced sales in its sugar division, which will be offset by cost cuts.

The group said its full-year profit expectations remain unchanged.