Pepco Group profit impacted by Covid-19
Poundland owner Pepco Group saw its revenue increase by 9.7% in the six months to the end of March, although pre-tax profit was down 16.3% to €89 million due to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Revenue had previously climbed by 14.4% in the five months to February after trade was boosted by the expansion of its Pepco retail brand in Central Europe. Pre-tax profit was also up, rising by 21.8%.
During the six month period, the group opened a net 150 new stores with Pepco launching stores in 10 of its 11 trading markets and the Dealz brand expanding in Poland and Spain. By the end of the period, the group had grown its store portfolio by 15% to 2,844 shops.
Andy Bond, chief executive of Pepco Group, said: “It is pleasing to report continued strong operational, strategic and financial progress made by all parts of the Pepco Group before the impact of Covid. We continued our store expansion programme, delivered compelling like-for-like sales growth and converted sales to profit, while at the same time investing in infrastructure and maintaining our price leadership position within the European discount variety retailing sector.”
Pepco said revenue is returning to pre-Covid levels with 99% of group stores now trading, although like-for-like sales remain negative.
Looking ahead, Bond said: “The consumer outlook remains uncertain and our plans reflect our expectation of a ‘new normal’ trading environment once we all emerge from the Covid virus. However, it is likely that consumer demand for discount retailing will increase in a period of prolonged economic uncertainty and we are extremely well placed to take advantage of this trend.”
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