Poundland targets over 1,000 stores in Britain

LONDON Tue Oct 1, 2013 2:57am EDT

LONDON Oct 1 (Reuters) - Poundland, Europe's biggest single price value retailer, posted a 15.6 percent rise in underlying year earnings and said it was planning to have over 1,000 stores in Britain.

The group, which currently trades from 458 stores in Britain and Ireland, also said on Tuesday its new financial year had started well with trading ahead of internal expectations.

Value retailers have outperformed the market in the economic downturn as consumers, battling inflation rising faster than wages, have sought to make savings.

"There are some early but encouraging signs of improvement in the economy and in consumer confidence and Poundland is well placed to capitalise on any upturn," said Chief Executive Jim McCarthy.

Poundland, owned by private equity firm Warburg Pincus , made underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 45.4 million pounds ($73.5 million) in the year to March 31, up from 39.3 million previously.

Total sales rose 15 percent to 880 million pounds as its offer of over 3,000 products and over 1,000 branded goods from firms such as Cadbury, Heinz, Coca Cola and Kodak, all at a single price point of 1 pound, found favour with consumers.

Poundland opened a net 69 new stores in Britain and Ireland in 2012-13 and plans 50 net new stores in 2013-14, having already opened 30.

"Over time I'm confident that we will have over 1,000 Poundland stores in the UK," said McCarthy.

He also sees potential for further international expansion after a profitable first full year of trading at the firm's multi-price format Dealz business in Ireland.

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