Primark recorded healthy rises in its preliminary profits and sales bolstered by its UK division, which defied the wider fashion downturn.

The fashion retailer reported a 7% rise in adjusted operating profit to £735m in the 52 weeks to September 16 while revenue soared 19% to £7bn.

Like-for-like sales edged up 1% across the group but soared 10% in its core UK arm. 

Primark’s sales in continental Europe jumped 16% and 15 of its 20 best-performing stores by sales density are now located in the region, including seven across its newest markets, France and Italy.

By contrast, the retailer said it was “fine-tuning” its US division and planned to reduce the size of three of its stores there “in order to optimise their efficiency and provide the best shopping experience for our customers”.

The fashion retailer’s operating profit margin was negatively impacted by currency fluctuations, and dipped from 11.6% to 10.4%.

Primark opened a net 30 stores across nine countries during the period and ended the financial year with a 345-strong store estate. In the year ahead the fashion retailer plans to open a further 19 new stores alongside a number of relocations and extensions, which will cumulatively add 1.2 million sq ft of selling space to its estate.

Chairman Charles Sinclair said: “The Primark management team also had further success in mitigating currency headwinds, they delivered on-trend fashion and their stores have never looked better. We look forward to further growth in the coming year.”