Pepco Group, which owns discount retailer Poundland and Dealz, saw same store sales fall 2.1% in its Christmas quarter as a result of Covid-19 pandemic related closures.

But it said today that it was still planning to expand in 2021. 

The owner of the PEPCO and Dealz brands in Europe, said stores that were open for the full duration of any week in the quarter to the end of December, delivered like-for-like sales growth of 5.5%. 

Pepco Group is part of South African conglomerate Steinhoff, which is still battling the fallout of 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.  

Pepco Group said total revenue in the quarter was €1.19 billion, a 9.1% increase on a constant currency basis, reflecting new store openings. 

It ended the period with 3,218 stores, up 14.6% over the year, and plans further expansion in 2021 despite the pandemic. 

It said it is targeting more than 200 new PEPCO stores and over 50 more Dealz stores. 

"We anticipate that the consumer backdrop will remain challenging in the short-term," Pepco Group's chief executive Andy Bond said. 

"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," Bond added.