Sales at Poundland have grown by more than 15% in the past year as the discount sector continued to become a more prominent feature of the UK retail market.

Sales through Poundland stores hit £880m in the 52 weeks ending March 31 while gross profit was up 14.6% to more than £323m, the discount retailer’s annual results have revealed.

The company also opened 69 new stores, growing its estate to 458 in the period.

Announcing the results, chief executive Jim McCarthy said that over time Poundland would have “over 1,000 stores across the UK”.

“This has been a year of tremendous progress for Poundland,” he said. “Sales and EBITDA hit new record levels. The discount sector is now a mainstream feature of the UK retail scene.

 “The new financial year has started well and we are trading ahead of our expectations.There are some early but encouraging signs of improvement in the economy and in consumer confidence and Poundland is well placed to capitalise on any upturn.”

More than 70% of Poundland’s products are sourced through UK companies, and relationships with UK suppliers had “continued to strengthen” in the past year, McCarthy added.

“We believe that major manufacturers of branded products recognise the significance of Poundland to customers and the opportunity that we offer them to expand their brand reach and sales. Top brands remain very important to our customers and securing continuity of supply through these direct channels has led to increased sales through improved availability and therefore greater differentiation from competitors,” he said.