99p Stores’ pre-tax profit has rocketed from £1.8m to £6.3m in the year to January 31 as the single price point value chain maps out plans for European expansion.
EBITDA more than doubled to £10.1m, while turnover jumped from £183.5m to £231m. Buying director Faisal Lalani declined to give like-for-like figures.
Lalani said 99p Stores will open in Ireland later this year, initially with six to eight stores in Dublin before a national roll-out. It will then open across the continent.
Lalani would not disclose what name the retailer will operate under in Ireland, but said it would be a single price point format.
He said the attractions of Ireland include its “great property market”, meaning the retailer can secure attractive deals, as well as the fact that the economy is depressed, meaning there will be more cash-strapped consumers seeking value.
Lalani added: “We expect to grow in the UK and also across the continent. If a single price point concept works in Ireland then it should work across the continent.”
Lalani said the retailer is mulling territories such as France and Holland. He said that the strong results for last year were “really positive” particularly in light of the VAT rise in January. “We’re showing the business model is highly successful,” he said, adding that current trading is “very good, and better than expected”.
In March the retailer hired advisers DC Advisory Partners to conduct a strategic review of the business, which could lead to a sale, but Lalani declined to comment on the situation.
He said margin is up at 99p Stores, after renegotiating prices with suppliers.
The business will continue to perform strongly this year as the austerity measures “really begin to bite”, according to Lalani. He said he has noticed shoppers trading down, opting for own-brand product rather than branded goods.
He said the retailer’s multi-price point format Family Bargains, launched in the year, is trading “very well”. He added: “We’re expecting to roll out the format given the success of it.”