JD Sports Fashion has made a “strong” start to its financial year, boosted by rising sales in Europe, the retailer has reported.

In a trading statement ahead of its AGM today, executive chairman Peter Cowgill said the group’s board is “pleased” with its performance in the 19 weeks from the start of February, without disclosing figures.

Cowgill said he is satisfied with “the growing level of sales in Europe” but admitted the the weak euro will impact margins in JD stores outside the UK.

Analyst Nick Bubb flagged the performance has come “despite a tough season so far for most fashion retailers”.

In April, JD Sports Fashion reported that its full-year pre-tax profits had passed the £100m barrier for the first time, jumping 22%. Like-for-likes climbed 12%.

JD Sports operates 660 stores in its sports division across the UK and Europe.

Looking ahead, Cowgill added: “Whilst we are now trading against challenging comparatives for the remainder of the year, the board remains confident that current earnings expectations for the group for the year ended 31 January 2016 should be met.”