Poundland’s EBITDA surged 15.6% to £45.4m last year as the single-price retailer aims to open more than 1,000 stores in the UK.

Poundland generated gross profit up 14.6% to £323.4m in the 52 weeks to March 31, while total sales jumped 15% to £880m.

It was the first profitable full year of trading for its Irish Dealz stores where it now trades from 26 shops. Poundland said its success validates the model and it is in the “final stages” of its plans to export Dealz to Europe.

Poundland said cash generation was strong and in the period net borrowings halved to £12.1m from £26.1m in 2012.

Poundland chief executive Jim McCarthy said: “This has been a year of tremendous progress for Poundland. Sales and EBITDA hit new record levels and more than 4.5 million customers came into our stores each week. The discount sector is now a mainstream feature of the UK retail scene.”

Poundland opened 69 new stores in the year, bringing the estate to 458. Since year end, Poundland has opened 30 new stores and plans 50 in total this year.

McCarthy said he was “confident” that “over time” Poundland will trade from more than 1,000 stores in the UK.

McCarthy added: “The new financial year has started well and we are trading ahead of our expectations. There are some early but encouraging signs of improvement in the economy and in consumer confidence, and Poundland is well placed to capitalise on any upturn.

“This new store opening programme, together with the potential for international expansion, will be the key catalysts for our future growth.”

Last year Poundland served 4.5 million customers each week, including 200,000 per week in Ireland.

The retailer said it was on track to open a 350,000 sq ft distribution centre in Harlow, Essex next year.