Primark sales surged 20% in its third quarter driven by new stores and “good” like-for-like sales growth due to the improved weather.

The value fashion giant, which is owned by Associated British Foods, said store growth before Christmas boosted sales while the warmer weather helped initially sluggish sales in the 16 weeks to June 22.

Primark sales across the 40 weeks to June 22 increased 22%.

In the third quarter Primark completed the extension of its Manchester and Newcastle stores. As at June 22, Primark operated 257 stores.

Primark said new store openings will accelerate next year as it prepares to launch in France with a store in Marseille.  

In the period Primark was a key figure in the aftermath of the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh where one of its suppliers had been located.

It donated food to 1,300 families affected by the event and it has paid short-term financial compensation to more than 3,300 workers in the building irrespective of their employer.

Primark said: “We were deeply saddened by the tragic events caused by the building collapse at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in April where one of Primark’s suppliers was located on the second floor. 

“Primark has committed to long-term compensation for victims who worked for its supplier, and their dependents.”

Associated British Foods revealed total group revenue for the quarter was up 8% and for the 40-week period it jumped 9%.