Steinhoff International, whose businesses included Poundland in the UK and Pepco, says revenues have been trending back to pre-Covid-19 levels since May, and its cash position was better than it expected.
As a result of store closures, the group reported a decrease in revenue from continuing operations of 6% to €6.76bn (R135.6bn) in its nine-months to end-June.

Pepkor Africa Group’s revenue the period fell 10% to €2.96bn, or 2% in constant-currency terms. It is estimated that the national lockdown period resulted in lost revenue of about €285m for Pepkor Africa, the group said, although sales levels for PEP and Ackermans were positive during May and June 2020 after stores reopened.

“Trading was resilient due to the defensive discount and value market positioning, with consumers prioritising apparel spending in areas such as babies’ and children’s clothing and focusing on basic and replenishment products,” the group said.

The full effect of Covid-19 on the performance of the group for the 2020 financial year remains uncertain, Steinhoff said in a trading update.

Steinhoff has been selling off assets and is battling for survival after uncovering a €6.5bn (about R110bn) hole in its accounts in 2017. This caused a share collapse and multiple lawsuits from former business partners and aggrieved shareholders.

In morning trade on Friday, Steinhoff International’s share was unchanged at 97c, having fallen more than 98% over the past three years.