There's pressure on unloved discount retailer Poundland (PLND) to deliver news of improved trading over Christmas when it issues its third quarter update (7 Jan '16).
Analysts took red pens to profit forecasts following the single price general merchandise chain's interims (19 Nov), as an uncertain outlook statement and news of deteriorating trading at acquired 99p Stores unnerved the market.
CEO Jim McCarthy (pictured) reported a 26.3% slump in interim taxable profits to £9.3 million amid toughening market conditions and a weakening euro versus sterling. McCarthy also warned of 'highly volatile trading conditions so far in the third quarter', meaning performance depends more than ever on Poundland's critical Christmas quarter.
The good news is the £526 million cap's transformational 99p Stores acquisition has added the equivalent of five years of UK organic growth and 40% to store numbers in one fell swoop. Still an immature business, cash-generative, dividend-paying Poundland has also demonstrated confidence in the growth outlook by increasing its UK & Ireland store target from 1,070 to 1,400 stores.