Multi-format discount variety retailer Pepco Group has generated total revenue of €2.83bn ($3bn) in the first half (H1) of fiscal year (FY) 2023, up 22.8% compared to the same period in FY22.

For the period ending 31 March 2023, the company’s like-for-like (LFL) sales increased by 11.1%, driven by LFL sales growth of 15.8% and 4.9% for Pepco and Poundland Group businesses, respectively.

Pepco Group’s gross profit for the period was €1.13bn, ($1.2bn) up by 20.1% against the corresponding period a year ago. Its gross margin was 40.1%.

Its underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also increased 11.0% year-on-year (YoY) to €377m ($403m) while underlying profit before tax (PBT) declined by 5.7% YoY to €134m ($143m) in H1 FY23.

Basic earnings per share for the period was €14.0, ($14.9) down 14.0% from €16.5 ($17.6) a year ago.

The retailer opened 166 net new stores in H1 FY23, ending the period with 4,127 stores.

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It aims to open at least 550 net new stores during the fiscal year.

Pepco Group CEO Trevor Masters said: “The group continued to make strong progress against our strategic objectives over the half year while delivering an increase in revenues and underlying EBITDA.

“Our growth strategy in Western Europe is progressing well, reflecting the strong appeal of the Pepco brand to customers across the whole continent. Italy, where we recently opened our 100th store and Spain – which is benefiting from our combined clothing, general merchandise and FMCG offer – continue to be our largest and fastest-growing Western European territories. In May, we were delighted to launch the Pepco brand in Portugal.

“We remain well positioned and in the second half will see gross margins trending upwards, as we benefit from the tailwinds on certain input costs, including commodity and freight. We are focused on executing our strategy and remain on track to deliver full year EBITDA growth in line with previous guidance.”