Retail giant Arcadia Group Plc on Thursday reported a 7.6 per cent year-on-year climb in total retail sales for the first 17 weeks of its fiscal second half.

The company, which owns high street chains including Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Evans, Wallis and Miss Selfridge, said like-for-like sales for the period jumped eight per cent.

Arcadia chief executive, Stuart Rose, said: "The group continues to trade well and we are confident of the outcome for the second half of this financial year ending 31 August 2002.

"We expect the trading environment to remain highly competitive. However, our brands are well positioned to provide the outstanding product, value and excitement that our customers demand."

In April, Arcadia reported a 59.5 per cent leap in half-year profits to £57.9 million amid soaring sales.