Value fashion and homewares retailer Matalan has reported a 30% increase in profits, driven by investment in products, stores and people.

The retailer reported operating profit before exceptionals of £132.9m in the year to February 27. Like-for-like sales were up 6.7% and total revenues rose 8% to £1.12bn.

The 205-store retailer plans as many as 100 more shops during the next few years and will improve its etail offer. Chief executive Alistair McGeorge said Matalan had delivered “very strong sales growth in what remains a challenging market”. He added: “We have benefited from our investment over the past three years in our product, our stores and our people.”

In the period, Matalan kick-started its store opening programme and opened three shops in northern Scotland, Manchester and Greater London. It also invested more than £12m in its existing stores, and continued with its international expansion, opening three stores in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Jordan.

Matalan said its ‘good, better and best’ strategy helped drive sales, with its own brands performing well.

Matalan founder John Hargreaves attempted unsuccessfully to sell the retailer earlier this year. A £525m refinancing package was subsequently put in place to fund growth and pay Hargreaves a £250m dividend.