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Poundland opens first Spanish store as it celebrates record year

Walsall | News | Published:

[gallery] Poundland has opened its first store in Spain in the holiday resort of Torremolinos, it revealed today as it also took the wraps off full-year sales figures of nearly £1 billion.

Sales soared 13.3 per cent to £997.8 million as it opened another 60 stores last year, while profits jumped 23.5 per cent to £36.8m.

Sales are still rising, said chief executive Jim McCarthy, and Poundland plans another 70 stores this year, creating 1,000 more jobs.

Meanwhile, around 2,700 customers flocked through the tills of its new Spanish store yesterday, with water and soft drinks among the big sellers on a hot day with the temperatures up around 28C on the Costa del Sol.

Jim McCarthy and his colleagues watched the progress of the day live on CCTV from their offices in Willenhall and he said they had already spotted some improvements that needed to be made in getting customers through the tills faster.

"It was very hot, so drinks were a big seller yesterday; water, the energy drink Red Bull, six packs of Tango, as well as chocolates," he said, adding that around 70 per cent of the customers had been Spanish. The rest are likely to have been holidaymakers, many of them British.

The new store has opened under the Dealz name that Poundland uses in Ireland, where it also trades in the euro.

Instead of a single price, as with Poundland, the Dealz stores sell most products for 1.49 euros, with bigger items priced from two to five euros each.

Back home today, the £1 for everything chain was celebrating another record year at the same time as it revealed sales in the first three months of its new financial year were up 18% to £262.6 million.

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Jim McCarthy, said: "Trading in the first three months of the new fiscal year has been strong with total sales up 18.0% as our retail proposition continues to gain traction through offering amazing value to savvy consumers. After a pleasing start to 2014/15 we are confident of further progress through the year whilst recognising our critical third quarter lies ahead of us."

The figures come after the company's successful float on the stock market in March. With 528 stores in the UK, Ireland and now Spain, the company employs around 750 people at its headquarters in Willenhall and its major distribution site in Bilston.

It is also about to open a new 350,000 sq ft distribition centre in Harlow.

Mr McCarthy said Poundland's growth came despite growing competition from stores like Asda and Tesco promoting their own single-price formats. He said 22% of Poundlands's customers now came from the top AB social group.

The company has also seen a big success for its tie-in with actress, Sixties icon and celebrity baker Jane Asher. It has sold one million items of her branded bakeware so far. Mr McCarthy called its performance 'exceptional', saying it was ahead of initial forecasts.

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