Cut-price clothing chain Peacock has posted a 24 per cent increase in first-half profits to £14.3 million.

Sales for the 26 weeks ended 2 October saw 13 per cent growth to £261m, with a like-for-like increase of 3.4 per cent.

Sales at its Bonmarche division dropped just over 7 per cent on a like-for-like basis, but this was offset by a good performance at Peacocks, where like-for-like sales rose 9 per cent, and total sales increased by just over 15 per cent.

Peacocks attributed the strong performance at its namesake chain to the introduction of clothing ranges focused on modern styles and improved quality. It also said it had filled gaps in its product range with a reshuffle of its buying and merchandising staff.

The Cardiff-based group plans to open 100 new outlets this year. It currently operates 411 Peacocks stores, 336 Bon March Stores and 36 Fragrance Shop branches.