Primark grew sales 19% to £1.26bn and profits 18% to £144m in the 24 weeks to 27 February.

Like for like sales increased 8% in the period despite strong comparatives, and five new stores were opened; Cambridge, Wood Green, Frankfurt, Porto and Liege, its first Belgian store.

The company highlighted an “exceptional” performance from its 14 Spanish stores, and has acquired a 200,000 sq ft warehouse outside Madrid to service further growth in the country.

Primark’s operating margin of 11.4% was unchanged, with an increase in freight costs from Asia being countered by higher volumes.

The company expects to open six stores in the UK in the second half – three each in the UK and Spain – while the ten Bhs stores it has acquired will open in the next financial year adding 300,000 sq ft of selling space.