• Like-for-likes down 3.9%
  • Full-year total sales up 18.4%
  • Poundland to complete conversion of 99p stores by end of April

Poundland like-for-likes dropped but boss Jim McCarthy has hailed a “transformative year” as 99p Stores conversions are set to be completed this month.

The value retailer has reported a sales increase of 29.5% in the 13 weeks to March 27, driven by the addition of 99p Stores to the retailer’s estate.

The retailer said that  its full-year total sales had risen 18.4% but that its like-for-likes had fallen 3.9%, down from a 2.4% rise the previous year.

The retailer completed 190 99p Store conversions in the fourth quarter and aims to finish the conversions by the end of April.

Poundland said it expected its underlying pre-tax profits to be “broadly in line with current market expectations”.

The retailer said it had ended the year with 906 stores, up from 593 last year, and had increased its store estate in the UK and Ireland by 56%.

Chief executive Jim McCarthy, who will be succeeded by Kevin O’Byrne in July, said: “Against a tough retail background, this has been a transformative year for Poundland, strengthening further our position as Europe’s biggest single-price discounter.

“We have added over 300 shops to our portfolio in the UK and Ireland, in particular in the South of England, substantially increasing our geographical reach and scale.

“The 99p Stores’ conversion programme will complete by the end of April, at which point we expect to see the significant benefits of over 900 stores trading as one cohesive retail operation begin to materialise.”