Poundland discount chain to create up to 2,000 jobs

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Discount retailer Poundland plans to open 50 new stores in a move it says will create up to 2,000 jobs.

The chain of 263 stores which sell everything for £1 said tough economic times meant more shoppers were flocking through its doors.

Poundland on Wednesday posted annual operating profits up 81% to £21.5m, on turnover up 28.7% to £509.8m.

Jim McCarthy, chief executive, called the results "impressive" and promised further profits growth and expansion.

He said: "With the economic uncertainty continuing, we are seeing many more first time shoppers joining our... customer base and with this trend set to continue, I remain confident of our prospects for the current financial year."

Poundland employs more than 7,500 staff, and created about 2,000 full- and part-time jobs during the financial year ending in March 2010.

The firm, based at Willenhall, West Midlands, opened 56 outlets during the last financial year, many of which are based at former Woolworths stores.

Mr McCarthy said that a similar number of new stores would open this year, and he believes Poundland could have 800 outlets within the next few years.

"Market research shows... we have several more years of growing," he said.

The chain, owned by the private equity company Warburg Pincus, is gradually increasing the average size of its stores, and also stocking more branded items and food.

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