Poundland posts 12% sales increase

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High Street stock

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

Inside the home of the entrepreneur behind Poundland