Primark owner Associated British Foods said sales and profits in the year to September 12 at the value fashion retailer will be “well ahead of last year”.

Like-for-likes are expected to grow 7% in the period, driven by a “very strong performance” in the UK.

The retailer said the UK’s performance was achieved through Primark’s “strong competitive position, its highly appealing merchandise and better weather than last year”.

As the retailer indicated in its last update, Primark expects operating profit margin to be lower than last year, due to the opening of its new UK distribution centre as well as sterling’s weakness against the dollar.

The retailer expects to open six new shops in the period, in Spain, Germany, Portugal and the UK, while closing two. This brings its total to 191 stores covering 5.9 million sq ft - a 9% increase in selling space.

Primark said its stores in Continental Europe have “performed well, although it is early days for Germany and Portugal”.

Associated British Foods said trading for the group since the first half has been “strong” resulting in an increase in adjusted operating profit for the second half compared to last year.