Poundland targets 70 Irish Dealz outlets
Poundland, the company operating the Dealz brand in Ireland, plans to open almost 30 new stores across the country over the next three years.
The discount retailer said it expects to open at least 60 new stores across Ireland and the UK during 2015-2016 as it reported strong growth for its Irish and UK operations in the 12-month period to the end of March.
It currently has 41 stores across the country and opened ten outlets across the country in the year to the end of March.
The firm, which sells almost all its products at the single price point of €1.49 in Ireland, plans to open an additional ten stores across the country next year.
A spokeswoman for Poundland added that the firm is targeting 70 stores in the Republic over the next two to three years.
Although the firm did not give a breakdown of sales for its Irish operations, it said that it serves about 300,000 customers a week across the country.
Across the UK and Ireland, Poundland said it made an underlying pre-tax profit of £43.7m (€60.9m), up 19pc on the previous year's figures, as sales grew 12pc to £1.12bn. That was in line with analysts' average forecast of £43.6m and up from £36.8m made in the 2013-14 year.
Poundland said sales for the 11 weeks ended June 14 grew 4.1pc. That compares to sales growth of 7.1pc in the fourth quarter of the firm's 2014-15 year and growth of 10.2pc in its third quarter.
"We expect to open at least 40 net new stores in the first half of the year, considerably ahead of last year's 28, which will leave us well positioned for our important third quarter Halloween and Christmas trading period," the company added.
The firm also opened its first Dealz store in Spain on a trial basis and said five will be opened at the end of the financial year.
Poundland said it expected the less important first half of the year to be relatively subdued, reflecting tough comparative numbers and weak euro.
However, Poundland chief executive Jim McCarthy said the outlook for the second half was better, reflecting softer comparable sales figures, the opening of at least 40 new stores on a net basis, and the benefit of stores opened last year.
Mr McCarthy also said if the Spanish trial proved a success the company could open up to 400 Dealz stores there over time.
In February, Poundland said it had agreed to buy smaller rival 99p Stores for £55m.
However, the deal is subject to a investigation by Britain's competition watchdog, which is due to report in October.