Poundland Worthing

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Poundland has benefitted from cost-conscious consumers managing tight household budgets to grow sales over the past year.

The discounter increased revenues 5% to €2.1bn (£1.9bn) in the year ended 30 September, with like-for-like growth of 2.6%, according to a pre-close trading update from parent group Pepco.

In the fourth quarter, Poundland sales rose 3.8% to €515m (£456.1m) or 1.7% on a like-for-like basis.

It opened 70 new stores in the year - almost exclusively in the Dealz business in Poland - taking the portfolio to 1,051 strong.

Pepco said demand for its products remained strong despite the uncertain macroeconomic environment, with inflation at record highs across its markets.

It added that the outlook across the UK remained “challenging” as household budgets were squeezed further but consumers were drawn to its value-led proposition.

CEO Trevor Masters said: “These are very challenging times for families across Europe and we remain absolutely committed to helping customers on a budget by offering great range, value and convenience – and we are confident this will enable us to expand our customer base going forward.”

He added that the store renewal programme - with upgrades to 598 Pepco stores and 129 Poundland over the year - helped drive like-for-like growth and enhanced the customer offer.

“We will continue to drive our business using our four key strategic levers – bigger, better, simpler and cheaper,” Masters said.

“This strategy is driving faster growth through accelerated store openings and innovation to improve each store for customers and colleagues, helping to further enhance our LFL performance.

“We are also deploying these levers to lower our cost structure – to be significantly cheaper and more efficient – and improve back-office structure and processes. This strategic focus has served us well in growing sales and delivering on EBITDA and cash generation.

“We are accelerating our strategy in order to capitalise on the opportunities available to us in these volatile market conditions.”

Pepco group revenues in the year shot up 17.4% to €4.8bn, with like-for-like growth of 5.2%, while sales increased at the same rate of 17.4% to €1.2bn in the final quarter.

Full-year underlying EBITDA is expected to be within the range of €735m to €750m, in line with year-on-year growth forecasts.

Pepco will publish its full-year results on 13 December.

Shares in the group jumped 2.8% this morning to 30.7 Polish zloty.

Morning update

The FTSE 100 slipped once again this morning by 0.1% to 6,876.93pts as the ONS announced gross domestic product fell 0.3% between July and August.

Early fallers included Marston’s, down 3.8% to 36.5p, Bakkavor, down 3.2% to 90p, Ocado, down 3.3% to 400.7p, and Hilton Food Group, down 1.8% to 595p.

Deliveroo, HelloFresh and FeverTree are among the risers so far, up 1.8% to 80.7p, 1.7% to €21.47 and 0.8% to 901.5p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 sank 1% yesterday to 6,890.75pts.

Greencore shares fell 3% to 67.3p as the sandwich maker disppointed markets following a guiding down of expected profits for the year. It came despite the group growing revenues 25% in the fourth quarter.

Elsewhere, Science in Sport slipped another 5.6% to 15.1p, Ocado was also down 5.3% to 414.5p, and Virgin Wines UK fell 4% to 48p.

Risers included Marston’s, up 5.8% to 38p, Compass Group, up 0.9% to 1,808.5p, and Britvic, up 1% to 736.7p.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s both enjoyed rises after the performance of the two biggest players held up well to the discounters in the latest 12-week period, according to Kantar. Shares in the two were up 0.6% to 207.3p and 1.3% to 175.3p respectively.