Value fashion powerhouse Primark has posted a 16% sales surge despite bad weather leading to volatile trading.

Primark’s revenue rise in the 40 weeks to June 23 was driven both by an increase in selling space and a like-for-like advance, parent Associated British Foods reported.

In its third quarter updated the retailer said: “Since the half year, the monthly sales pattern has seen more variability than usual as a result of unseasonal weather. 

“Trading in the UK and Ireland during the quarter was good with the exception of April when cold and wet weather led to weak sales.”

Operating margins are improving in the second half, reflecting lower input costs.

In continental Europe, trading was “healthy”.  During the third quarter Primark opened four shops, all in Spain. Yesterday the retailer opened its first store in Berlin.