Poundland just had its best Christmas ever

Emma Haslett
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The retailer had its best Christmas since 1990 (Source: Poundland/Facebook)

It seems those questionable elf ads did the trick, for Poundland just had its best Christmas since it began trading in 1990, it said today.

The bargain retailer said like for like sales in the three weeks to Christmas rose six per cent, while sales in the week before Christmas were 20 per cent higher than last year, at £59m.

The company sold more than 5m rolls of wrapping paper, over 1m pieces of tinsel, more than 26m Christmas cards and 28m baubles, it said. Meanwhile, sales of batteries tripled in the week before the Christmas.

It also highlighted that controversial "Elf Behaving Badly" social media campaign, which involved a toy elf in risqué positions, as an example of its "low cost but highly effective marketing strategy". Today the Advertising Standards Authority launched an investigation into the ads after it received 80 complaints - although the campaign also led to 200,000 sales of "bad elves", alongside 1m "elf accessories".

“This Christmas, sales have even exceeded our high expectations," said Barry Williams, the retailer's managing director for the UK and Ireland.

Poundland is buzzing, significantly outperforming the market, entering the new year with great confidence.”

Poundland, which was bought by troubled South African retail giant Steinhoff in September last year, also said Pepkor Europe, the Steinhoff subsidiary which acts as its parent company, had replaced planned investment from its owner with a new £180m loan facility.

"Despite the ongoing issues faced by our parent company, we have been able to work quickly over Christmas to activate new sources of funding that will enable us to reassure suppliers, implement our investment plans and secure the future of these successful businesses," said Andy Bond, Pepkor's chief executive.

Read more: Moody's cuts rating of Poundland owner Steinhoff for second time in weeks

In pictures: Poundland's NSFW elf campaign

(Click or tap on the images to see them in full screen)