Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

Pan-European discount retail store Pepco, a subsidiary of Steinhoff International, says most of its stores are operating again after being closed by the Covid-19 lockdown, though consumer activity remains muted.

The Pepco group, which runs Poundland and Pepco discount stores, said 99% of its store base was  operating, but comparable sales remain lower than the same time last year.

Profit before tax for the five months to end-February rose 21.8%, but fell 16% for the half-year to end-March, reflecting the effect of the pandemic on its stores.

The group grew its store base 15% to 2,844 at the end of March, with revenue rising 9.7% year on year.

“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,” said Pepco CEO Andy Bond.

“We continued our store expansion programme, delivered compelling like-for-like sales growth and converted sales to profit, while investing in infrastructure and maintaining our price leadership position within the European discount variety retailing sector,” Bond said.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za