By Jonathan Davies

Sales at budget fashion retailer Primark have risen sharply on last year, according to initial estimates from its owner, Associated British Foods.

AB Foods said it expects Primark's sales to be 17% higher than last year, with a 4.5% increase in like-for-like sales.

Primark has opened 28 new stores in the UK since September 2013, the main reason for the large increase in overall sales but comparably low like-for-like sales.

"Earnings per share for the full year are expected to be ahead of last year," it said in a trading statement.

In the 2012-13 financial year, Primark earned 98.9p per share.

Primark's results are expected to provide a welcome boost to AB Foods overall profits after a drop in AB Sugar's profits.

AB Foods said it was hit lost around £50m due to the strength of the pound as it repatriated its foreign earnings.

Primark is set to open its first US store in Boston late next year.

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