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Dealz Owner Pepco Group's Christmas Sales Dented By COVID

Pepco Group, the owner of discount retailer Dealz, said same store sales fell 2.1% in its Christmas quarter, impacted by closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The retailer, which also owns the PEPCO and Poundland brands in Europe, said trading stores - stores that were open for the full duration of any week in the quarter to end-December - delivered like-for-like sales growth of 5.5%.

“We anticipate that the consumer backdrop will remain challenging in the short-term," commented Andy Bond, chief executive. "However, with our established growth strategy, centred on significant future store expansion within a structurally advantaged discount retail segment, and strong financial base, we believe that our future growth opportunity is greater than a year ago.

"Accordingly, we remain confident about our prospects for continued growth across Europe in the balance of the financial year and beyond.”

Strategic Options

Pepco Group is part of troubled South African conglomerate Steinhoff, which is still battling the fallout from a 2017 accounting scandal.

Since 2019 Steinhoff has been evaluating a range of strategic options for Pepco Group, including a potential public listing. That process was delayed by the pandemic but Steinhoff said on Monday it had resumed.

News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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