Poundland, the UK discount retailer that listed its shares on the London Stock Exchange in March, said it had made a strong start to its new financial year as it met profit forecasts for 2013-14. 

The firm is one of a raft of store groups to float this year and capitalise on Britain's gradually improving economy.

It said sales in its first quarter to June 29 increased 18% to £262.6m, helped by new store openings and a later Easter this year. 

"We are confident of further progress through the year whilst recognising our critical third quarter lies ahead of us," said chief executive Jim McCarthy. 

Poundland, which sells all its products at the single price point of £1 from over 530 UK stores, said it made an underlying post-tax profit of £27.3m in the year to March 30 - in line with analysts' forecasts, on sales of £997.8m, up 13.3%.              

Underlying pretax profit rose 23.5% to £36.8m while adjusted earnings per share increased 25.1% to 10.9 pence.