Poundland has driven up sales to reveal a “record” Christmas partly driven by the broadening appeal of the value retailer’s offer as it served more customers than ever before.

The single price point retailer said year-on-year total gross sales surged 12.4% to £348.8m in its third quarter, the 13 weeks to December 31.

In the five weeks to January 5, Poundland said it achieved “record” sales.

Poundland, which has 517 stores, said new store openings drove sales and it achieved “good” like-for-like sales growth while a broadening appeal of Poundland’s offer also boosted its performance. It added that the AB demographic now represents 22% of its customer base, double that theh retailer reported in 2011.

Poundland chief executive Jim McCarthy said: “I’m very pleased to report another strong quarter of sales growth together with a record Christmas as we served more customers in more parts of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland than ever before. Poundland’s single price point and our amazing value clearly resonated with shoppers everywhere.”   

In the third quarter, Poundland served over 71 million customers and over seven million shopped at the retailer in the peak Christmas trading week.

Poundland’s bakery category sold well in the quarter with sales up 146%. It sold 1.2 million advent calendars, 20 million chocolate bars, 750,000 Christmas gifts for pets, 750,000 boxes of candy canes and 300,000 novelty Christmas jewellery in the 13 week period.

McCarthy added: “There are structural changes underway in consumer shopping behaviour and I’m very pleased that Poundland continues to play a leading role in the growth of the discount sector. As the appreciation and appeal of our amazing value gains further momentum, I’m more confident than ever that in due course Poundland is on track to operate over 1,000 stores in the UK.

“We did some research recently which asked shoppers, ‘If you had more money would you use discounts less, more often or the same?’ and more than 90% of them said they would continue to use discounts. Value for money is now embedded in people’s minds.”

Poundland revealed last year that it wants to double the number of stores it has in the UK. The retailer, which is owned by US private equity firm Warburg Pincus, has plans to launch an IPO in the early part of this year.