B&M Bargains has posted soaring pre-tax profits, up 47% to £51.7m, for the 2011 calendar year driven by higher footfall and store growth.

B&M grew store numbers to 271, after it opened 45 new stores in the period and completed the rebranding of all Opus Homewares stores to the B&M fascia, following the acquisition of the business in 2010.

In documents filed at Companies House, the retailer said despite a “challenging” UK retail market, turnover at the value retailer increased by a third against the previous year to £712.5m, while operating profit grew 47% to £52m.

Joint managing director of B&M Simon Arora added the retailer had delivered positive like-for-likes over the period, and it had attracted a more affluent customer.

Following £9m investment in 2011, B&M will continue investing this year, and will plough £10m into upgrading its IT systems and distribution infrastructure to support store-growth. It plans to open 30-40 new stores this year.

B&M finance director Paul Macdonald said: “We are finding that customer confidence in our brand continues to grow as we extend our geographical footprint. 

“We hope to open 30-40 stores in 2012, but will only do so where the lease terms meet our strict criteria. Unlike some other new entrants to the market, we are focused on agreeing new sites only where the outgoings are sustainable for the long term.”