99p Stores has revealed a 14% rise in pre-tax profits for the year to 31 January, to £7.2m. The growth is slower than last year, when the discount chain trebled pre-tax profits from £1.8m to £6.3m.

Sales were up 17% to £270m, also slower than 2010, when they grew by 26%. On a like-for-like basis, sales were up 3.7% - well ahead of rival Poundland, which reported growth of 2.3% in financial results published a fortnight ago.

99p Stores now has 194 stores in the UK and Ireland after it added 51 stores over the last 12 months. It said it plans to open “more than 100” new stores over the next two years.

“Supermarkets charging £2 and £3 a throw for everyday essentials like washing-up liquid, toothpaste, tea and coffee have lost credibility,” said co-founder Hussein Lalani.

“Our customers are fed up of having been ripped off for years, paying up to three times the price for essentials. At 99p Stores if you buy 20 items you know what it will cost you – less than twenty pounds. At other stores shoppers have become nervy – they haven’t a clue what the final bill will be.”

He added: “Overall these are record results showing we are one of Britain’s fastest-growing retailers and the like-for-like numbers are the strongest in the sector.”