Poundland's quids in as sales jump 15%

The discount retailer now serves five million customers every week.

by Jack Torrance

It’s not just Aldi and Lidl cashing on the British public’s appetite for a bargain at the expense of the big supermarkets. Today Poundland, Britain’s biggest single-price retailer, announced sales were up 15% to £528.2m and underlying pre-tax profits up 34.2% to £12.6m in the six months to September.

The company keeps on expanding and opened 28 new stores in the period, with plans for another 32 by the end of its fiscal year. Its Dealz chain, which first launched in Ireland in 2011, has opened three stores in Spain and it expects to open seven more by the end of next year.

As supermarkets look set to cut the size of their store networks, Poundland has bucked the broader trend by focusing on bricks and mortar, while an anticipated ecommerce presence has yet to come to fruition. Pressed on the matter this morning, chief exec Jim McCarthy told the BBC he wouldn’t put a date on Poundland’s online launch and that they had been very busy with store openings and a new distribution centre.

‘As the structural changes in UK retail continue to redraw the landscape, we are building our reputation for offering amazing value every day to our customers and substantially broadening our appeal,’ McCarthy said. ‘While our full year outcome, as always, is dependent on delivering a good Christmas for our customers, I remain confident of further progress throughout the year.’

Poundland’s first half-year results since floating in May will give heart to investors, who will receive an interim dividend of 1.5p per share. It debuted with a share price of 300p and peaked at 400p on the same day but has not fared so well since. This morning shares were up more than 4% to 322.5p in early trading.

If it can sort out its website and customers don't all flock back to Tesco anytime soon then Poundland's strong growth looks set to continue.

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