Monday 26 April 2021 10:32 am

Poundland owner Pepco shuns London to float in Warsaw

Poundland owner Pepco this morning announced its intention to go public in Poland, in a blow for London’s financial market.

Pepco said it intends to apply for listing and admission to the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and said it had chosen Poland as it is the firm’s largest operating area.

The discount retailer, which has more than 3,200 stores across 16 countries, said it had identified 8,000 new store opportunities over the next 20 years.

Pepco chief executive Andy Bond said: “Today’s announcement of our intention to float on the Warsaw Stock Exchange marks an important milestone for the Group.

“We are strongly positioned to deliver significant long-term growth, given our market leading customer proposition in the most attractive sector of retail, the scale of opportunity ahead of us as we expand across the entirety of Europe and the investment in strengthening the infrastructure of the business over recent years.”

In March, Pepco had said it was considering a listing in either London or Warsaw.

Pepco’s ultimate owner Steinhoff is still battling the fallout from a 2017 accounting scandal and since 2019 the company and its creditors have been evaluating options for Pepco.

It said it would sell at least 15 per cent of Pepco’s shares.

Pepco has appointed Richard Burrows, chairman of British American Tobacco, as its chair and will appoint four other non-executive directors.

It also gave a trading update.

For the six months to 32 March, revenue growth was 4.4 per cent, reflecting the opening of 225 net new stores.

However, like-for-like revenue fell 2.1 per cent, due to Covid-19 pandemic related store closures and the fact that the retailer does not sell online.