Sales at Primark jumped 13% in constant currency for the 40 weeks to 24 June compared with the same period last year driven by a strong trading in the run-up to Easter.
At actual exchange rates sales were up 21% on 2016 for the year to date.
Meanwhile sales in the 16 weeks to 24 June were up 15% at constant currency and 21% at actual exchange rates.
Like-for-like sales at the value retailer for the 40 weeks were up by an undisclosed amount and selling space increased by 13% to 13.6m sq ft since the beginning of the financial year.
The retailer said trading was particularly strong in the run-up to Easter, which benefited from weak comparisons last year, when Easter was earlier and the weather was poor.
Like-for-like sales for the third quarter were better for the full first half of the year. The UK market performed well for the 40 weeks, up 9% on 2016, and the business continued to increase its market share.
The first-half operating profit margin of 10% declined from 11.7% in the first half last year, reflecting the strength of the US dollar on costs.
The business said the effect of sterling weakness against the US dollar would have a greater impact on margin in the second half because currency hedges would be at less advantageous rates. However, Primark now expects the rate of decline to be in line with the first half because of an improved input margin and lower markdowns.
During the third quarter 10 new stores opened in Uxbridge and Llandudno in the UK; Granada and Tarragona in Spain; Charleroi in Belgium; Zwolle and Hilversum in the Netherlands; Florence in Italy; and Staten Island, New York and South Shore, Massachusetts in the US. Early trading from these new stores, particularly those in Florence and the US, has been good. The business also extended the Downtown Crossing store in Boston, US taking its selling space to 92,000 sq ft. Primark has a total of 339 stores.
Primark expects to add a further 200,000 sq ft of selling space by the end of this financial year, with four stores in the UK and our fourth Italian store in Verona, bringing the total added in the year to 1.5m sq ft, as previously indicated.