Sales at value fashion giant Primark are expected to have risen 17% in the financial year about to end, parent Associated British Foods disclosed.

The rise, at constant currency rates, resulted from increased selling space and like-for-like growth, anticipated to be 3% in the 52 weeks to September 15.

In a pre-close update, Associated British Foods said: “Trading this summer in the UK was particularly strong and sales in continental Europe remained buoyant. 

“Trading in newly opened stores exceeded expectations and the opening of the new store in Berlin in July saw our most successful first day’s sales ever. Early sales of the autumn/winter range have been encouraging.

Primark’s operating margins in the first half were lower than the previous year, reflecting the retailer’s decision to absorb higher cotton costs rather than pass them on to customers.

The retailer will open its second Oxford Street store, at the east end of the famous shopping street, on September 20.