Sales surge 10.6% at Poundland parent company


The European parent company of Poundland has reported a surge in sales for its full year, bucking the accounting scandal controversy that nearly decimated its owner in South Africa.

For the year ending September 30, Pepkor Europe reported sales growth of 10.6 per cent to £2.75 billion.

For the final quarter of the year, sales were up 12.9 per cent to £706 million.

Meanwhile, the number of stores it had across the continent rose 12.6 per cent to 2360 throughout the year.

There was also strong like-for-like growth in Poundland, which Pepkor attributed to the introduction of Pep&Co clothing “shop-in-shops” in more than 300 stores.

Poundland’s store estate growth was also boosted after it snapped up 20 former sites of Poundworld – which collapsed in September – and converting them into Poundland stores in cities and towns where it has not had a presence before.

“We ended the financial year very strongly, as our key brands focused uncompromisingly on the delivery of their respective business plans,” Pepkor Europe chief executive Andy Bond said.

“Poundland’s return to like-for-like growth is encouraging and the continued growth of Pep&Co clearly evidences the broad appeal of their value for money proposition in existing and new markets.”

He added: “Each of the group’s brands sit within a core discount segment that is attractive to customers and growing at levels similar to that experienced online.

“Our established businesses are also financially strong, being profitable and cash generative. With a clear strategy in place, we are excited about our prospects for continued growth across Europe.”

Details on Pepkor’s profits were not disclosed in its trading update.

The news comes after amid a turbulent year for Pepkor’s owner Steinhoff International, which has been embroiled in a major accounting scandal in its home country of South Africa.

The scandal, which saw Steinhoff’s stocks plummet to near-fatal levels, saw now-former chief executive Markus Joost become the centre of police and parliamentary investigations.

Pepkor is the general merchandising arm of Steinhoff, and has owned Poundland since 2016.

Earlier this year, Pepkor strove to reduce its reliance on Steinhoff by securing a two-year independent loan of £180 million from US investment management firm Davidson Kempner.

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