Poundland posts 12% sales increase

High Street stock

%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%Discount retailer Poundland has reported a surge in the number of well-heeled shoppers visiting its stores as it notched up a record Christmas performance.

The budget chain, which is reportedly being lined up for a potential £800 million float before the summer, today posted a 12.4% hike in total sales over the 13 weeks to December 31.
Like-for-like figures were not provided, but it described comparable store growth as "good".

Poundland, which sells goods such as Cadbury's chocolate and Fairy washing up liquid for £1, hailed its "broadening appeal" and said more than one in five - 22% - of its shoppers were now from the wealthiest section of the population.

Chief executive Jim McCarthy said: "Poundland's single price point and our amazing value clearly resonated with shoppers everywhere."

It served more than 7 million shoppers in the peak Christmas trading week and said it saw a record performance in the five weeks to January 5.

The group sold 1.2 million advent calendars, 750,000 boxes of candy canes, 750,000 gifts for pets and 300,000 novelty Christmas jewellery items over its third quarter to the end of December.

The figures come as Poundland's owner, US private equity firm Warburg Pincus, is said to be mulling a flotation of the chain in the next few months, valuing it at between £700 million and £800 million.

The move would create a windfall for Warburg Pincus, which bought the group for £200 million in June 2010.

West Midlands-based Poundland started out as a single store in Burton-upon-Trent in 1990 and has since grown to 517 outlets, including Dealz stores, and aims to more than double its empire to 1,000 locations.

The company is chaired by Andrew Higginson, former finance and strategy boss at Tesco.

Inside the home of the entrepreneur behind Poundland
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Poundland posts 12% sales increase

Steve Smith, the man who founded Poundland, lives in a 13-bedroom Shropshire mansion - which has its own pub and snooker room as well as an indoor pool, a dining room that easily sits 18, and an entrance hall that's as big as most London flats.

The clever businessman opened his first Poundland in 1990 in Burton upon Trent. He sold his share of the business in 2002 for £50million and bought his luxury home.

The property is one of three owned by Smith - with another in Florida and the third in Majorca.

Mr Smith's luxurious home is a big step up from his modest background. 

Smith, 51, is now living the life of luxury in his decadent living room which has its own jukebox.

The snooker room inside the 13 bedroom Shropshire mansion owned by former Poundland boss Steve Smith.

The luxury pool inside Steve Smith's palatial mansion in Shropshire. 

Poundland boss Stephen Smith outside his 13 bedroom mansion in Shropshire standing next to his Lamborghini.

Despite having enough money in the bank to retire, Mr Smith didn't want to stop working just yet.

Smith is now working on an online pound shop called poundshop.com. Like the stores themselves, it will sell everything from food and drink to stationery, tools, party-ware and home and beauty.
Smith is convinced he can carve out a niche through sourcing different products and pricing them all at £1.

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