Primark has once again outperformed the wider fashion market, recording a 20 per cent uplift in sales in the 40 weeks to June 20.

Sales since the half-year, in the 16 weeks to June 20, soared 21 per cent – an improvement on the 18 per cent growth notched up in the first half.

The fashion retailer is in strong shape for the handover of the reins by managing director Arthur Ryan to chief operating officer Paul Marchant, who is expected to become chief executive in September. The 74-year-old, who founded the business in 1969, will remain chairman for a handover period before retiring.

As of June 20, Primark, which is owned by Associated British Foods, traded from 190 stores, across 5.7 million sq ft of trading space.

Panmure Gordon analyst Graham Jones estimated that like-for-like growth in the 16 weeks to June 20 was 7 or 8 per cent, an increase on the 5 per cent growth in the first half.

“This is a hugely impressive performance,” he said. He forecast that margins would be squeezed in the second half because of Primark’s new UK distribution centre and the adverse effect of the dollar.