Poundland has has given a further indication of the enduring strength of the discount sector with a strong set of half-year results.

Jim McCarthy, chief executive, said the business would continue to benefit from continuing consumer behaviour and was an even better business in improving economic conditions than it was in recession.

McCarthy, whose previous roles have included managing director of Sainsbury’s convenience business and chief executive of T&S Stores, was commenting on the single-price value retailer’s interim results which saw pre-tax profit climb 11.7% from £8.4m after non-underlying charges to £9.3m on sales up 15% from £459.2m to £528.2m.

Like-for-like sales moved 4.7% higher compared with 0.8% for the same period last year.

Poundland opened a net total of 28 new stores in UK and Ireland during the period taking the total estate to 556 shops, up from 490 in the same period last year.

Retail park outlets increased from 46 to 72 and the company is on track to open a planned 60 net new shops in the UK and Ireland in the current financial year.

Poundland said it had a strong opening pipeline in place for the UK and Ireland in 2016 and it expected to expand from three Dealz stores in Spain to 10 by the end of 2016.

Jim McCarthy, chief executive, said: “As the structural changes in UK retail continue to redraw the landscape, we are building our reputation for offering amazing value every day to our customers and substantially broadening our appeal.”

He said both Poundland and Dealz now offered universal appeal across all ages, demographics and socio-economic groups. And its share of ABC1’s had increased over the last four years to around 54%.

“We know that Poundland is a good business in a recession and we believe it is an even better business in improving economic conditions. It is now seen as smart to save money and Poundland will continue to benefit from changing consumer shopping behaviour,” McCarthy said.