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Poundland owner to open 550 stores as demand grows amid cost of living crisis

Poundland store
Poundland says it has outperformed the wider retail market despite challenging economic conditions such as runaway inflation and higher food and energy costs. Photo: PA/Alamy (Keenretail)

Poundland owner Pepco (PCO.WA) has announced plans to open 550 stores in the current financial year thanks to strong demand.

The group, which also owns the Dealz chain in Ireland and on the bloc, said the acceleration plans were driven by growth in central and eastern Europe, and demand from new and returning customers facing pressure on their budgets.

It expects revenue growth to continue in the "mid to high teens" as a result of higher like-for-like sales and the store investment plan, it said.

The discount retailer has already had 516 net new store openings over the previous year, excluding the closure of 59 Fultons Foods shops.

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Overall, Pepco revenues increased by 17.4% to €4.8bn (£4.1bn) in the year to 30 September, compared with the same period last year.

Read more: UK wages fall by 2.7% as unemployment rises

The retailer said it “outperformed” the wider retail market despite “challenging” economic conditions such as runaway inflation and higher food and energy costs.

Inflation in the UK currently stands at 11.1% in the year to October as consumers are shifting to discounts and non-branded value items. Meanwhile the cost of fresh food in British shops jumped by 13.3% in October, compared to a year ago.

The update comes just a fortnight after the group welcomed back former chief executive Andy Bond as chairman following a recovery from an illness.

Read more: UK economy returned to growth in October with 0.5% rise in GDP

Trevor Masters, Pepco chief executive, said: “Despite industry-wide short-term challenges, Pepco Group delivered another year of good progress and resilient trading performance, driven by our successful and proven strategy.

“We accelerated our profitable store expansion programme – our biggest source of value creation – and store refit strategy, helping to enhance our like-for-like performance.

“We also lowered our cost structure and improved back-office processes to be significantly cheaper and more efficient, helping us grow sales and deliver on EBITDA and cash generation.”

Watch: How to save money on a low income