Poundland bucks retail woes to end 2018 on a high note

The firm focused on delivery of its business plan said Pepkor CEO Andy Bond
The firm focused on delivery of its business plan said Pepkor CEO Andy Bond

The owner of Poundland has cheered “strong” sales growth as the rollout of Pep&Co fashion outlets helped the budget chain shrug off wider high street woes.

Parent firm Pepkor Europe - owned by crisis-hit South African group Steinhoff - said the performance from its 840 Poundland stores across the UK and Ireland helped contribute to a 12.9% jump in overall group-wide sales to C781 million (£705m) in its fourth quarter.

This saw revenues rise 10.6% to C3bn (£2.7bn) for the year to September 30.

Andy Bond, chief executive of Pepkor Europe, hailed a recent return to like-for-like sales growth at Poundland after a hit earlier in the year from the timing of Easter.

He also gave assurances that Poundland and its other brands, such as PEPCO and Dealz across Europe, were “financially strong” as the retailer continues to distance itself from the troubles at Steinhoff.

Steinhoff was plunged into crisis last year after disclosures of irregularities linked to its 2016 accounts, becoming one of South Africa’s biggest corporate scandals.

Mr Bond said: “We ended the financial year very strongly, as our key brands focused uncompromisingly on the delivery of their respective business plans.

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

Steinhoff said last week that it would have to put back the release of its restated results for 2017 and 2018 due to delays to the investigation by auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The probe is being carried out after multibillion-euro holes were unearthed which saw 90% of Steinhoff’s stock market value wiped out and triggered a fire sale of assets, leading to speculation that Poundland could also be sold.