Primark owner Associated British Foods has said it expects full-year sales at the value clothing retailer to be 17% ahead of last year at constant currency, or 15% at actual exchange rates.

It said the "excellent result" was due to an increase in selling space and like-for-like sales growth, which it is forecasting to be 3% for the year.

"Trading this summer in the UK was particularly strong and sales in continental Europe remained buoyant. Trading in our newly opened stores exceeded expectations, and the opening of the new store in Berlin in July saw our most successful first day's sales ever," the company said adding that early sales of its autumn/winter range have been "encouraging".

Operating margins are expected to be close to last year's levels, even though the retailer recorded lower margins in the first-half as it absorbed higher cotton prices. It said margins improved in the second half, following the fall in cotton prices.

The company's consolidated second half results, which include its agriculture, grocery, ingredients and sugar operations, are expected to be "substantially ahead of last year and in line with expectations".