TJX, the US-based value retailer and parent company of TK Maxx, has raised its profit outlook as it reports a lift in sales.

Overall store sales increased by 3% in the first quarter, ending April 29, accelerated by an increase in customer footfall.

Net sales reached $11.8bn (£9.47bn), up 3% compared to the same period last year.

TJX Canada saw 1% growth in-store sales, while TJX International, which includes its European and Australian arms, saw a 4% rise in store sales.

The group’s profit before-tax margin was 10.3% – well above its previous expectations and exceeding last year’s first-quarter pre-tax profit margin of 7.5%. 

As a result, TJX expects store sales to be up by 2% to 3% in the year ending February 3, 2024, and for its pre-tax profit margin to be between 10.3% and 10.5%.

TJX chief executive Ernie Herrman said: “I am very pleased with our first-quarter performance. Our pre-tax profit margin and earnings per share both significantly exceeded our plan and our 3% comparable store sales increase was at the high end of our plan. Our comp sales growth was driven by an increase in overall customer traffic and a 5% comp sales increase at Marmaxx, our largest division.

“HomeGoods’ comp sales were down following extraordinary growth during the pandemic. TJX Canada and TJX International both delivered comp sales growth and customer traffic increases. With our above-plan profit performance, we are raising our full-year guidance for both pre-tax profit margin and earnings per share. 

“The strength and flexibility of our off-price business model, the depth of our organisation’s expertise and our wide demographic reach all give me great confidence in our ability to continue to succeed in today’s retail environment. Going forward, I am confident that we have significant opportunities to grow sales, drive customer traffic, capture market share and improve the profitability of our company.”