Poundland cheers record Christmas trading

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Discount retailer Poundland has unwrapped record Christmas sales as shoppers snapped up festive decorations and budget stocking fillers.

Sales jumped by a fifth to £59 million in the final week before Christmas compared to last year, helping the high street chain to its strongest ever festive performance.

Poundland, which is owned by South Africa’s Steinhoff, said it also shrugged off “significant weather disruption” to book a 5.6% jump in like-for-like sales in the three months to Christmas Eve.

The update came as Poundland’s European parent, Pepkor Europe, moved to calm supplier concerns by replacing planned investment from troubled owner Steinhoff with a £180 million independent loan facility.

Steinhoff was plunged into crisis last month after revelations of accounting irregularities linked to its 2016 accounts, although on Tuesday the group said the issues could run even further back.

Andy Bond, Pepkor Europe chief executive, said: “Our European businesses – Poundland, Dealz and PEP&CO in Western Europe & PEPCO in Eastern Europe are firing on all cylinders, adding customers and growing market share.”

Poundland sold five million rolls of wrapping paper and 26 million Christmas cards, while battery sales trebled in the final week of the crucial Christmas trading period.

It said more than 200,000 bad elves – the focal point of a controversial social media campaign – were also sold over the festive season.

However, the campaign is now being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority after the watchdog received more than 80 complaints over its content.

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