Primark said today it expects half-year sales to grow four per cent compared to last year, driven by new store openings, but the budget fashion retailer will post a two per cent drop in like-for-like sales.
In the UK sales were up two per cent, while Eurozone sales jumped five per cent with strong growth in Spain, France, Italy and Belgium.
However, like-for-like sales in Europe were down three per cent, the brand's owner, Associated British Foods (ABF), announced in a trading update for the 24 weeks to 2 March.
Retail space has grown by 300,000 sq ft since the end of the financial year and from the 2 March 394 stores will be trading with floorspace up to 15.1m sq ft from 14.3m sq ft a year a go.
Four new stores were opened in Seville and Almeria in Spain, Toulouse in France and in Berlin, and ten more store openings are planned over the coming year.
The firm also announced it has struggled with trading in Germany, with plans underway to reduce selling space at a number of stores, but that the US business has performed well.
Revenue in ABF’s grocery, agriculture and ingredients divisions is expected to be up on last year, while revenue in its sugar business will decline in line with expectation.
In a statement the company said: “For the half year, other than the expected reduction in sugar revenue, sales growth will be delivered by all of our businesses.
“We expect adjusted earnings per share to be broadly in line with the same period last year, with lower net financial expenses offsetting a small reduction in adjusted operating profit.
“For the full year, our outlook for the group is unchanged with adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share for the year expected to be in line with last year.”