Value apparel company The Peacock Group says it has benefited from consumers leaning towards the budget end of the market, posting a 6.9 per cent rise in full-year profits to £38.5 million.

Peacock, which operates Peacocks, bonmarche and Fragrance Shop, reported a sales rise of 11.8 per cent to £548.2m, with a 3.6 per cent same-store sales increase for the year.

The company said that the value retail market has been expanding more rapidly than the general clothing market.

Sales at the Peacocks chain leapt 9.3 per cent, but same-store sales at bonmarche fell 7.1 per cent.

Peacock says it plans to open 30 new Peacocks stores and 20 bonmarche outlets this year as part of an expansion plan that should create approximately 800 jobs.