Discount department store operator TJ Hughes is pushing ahead with expansion after it reported turnover increased 9.1% to £261.3m in the year to January 31.

EBITDA at the retailer, which is backed by private equity firm Silverfleet Capital, soared 30% to £9.2m.

The retailer, which has a 50:50 split between fashion and non-fashion and sells brands at up to 40% off, has taken its store count to 52 by capitalising on locations left vacant after the collapse of Woolworths. Its latest openings, in Walsall, Derby and Hanley in Stoke on Trent, are all ex-Woolworths stores.

Chief executive Sue Tennant said the Walsall store gave the Liverpool-based retailer a “firm stronghold” in the Midlands.

It has also signed to open a store in Belfast in spring 2010 and is in negotiations to open four more sites.

TJ Hughes intends to drive sales of its own-label fashion ranges and will introduce a new womenswear brand called Elite. Tennant said ladies- and childrenswear has “enormous potential”.

She said the retailer has a loyal following but is now also attracting a different type of shopper who is turning to TJ Hughes for “high value items at bargain prices”.

Tennant will also focus on expanding TJ Hughes’ website, which reported sales growth of 80% in the first half to August 1.