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Retail

Pepco Group CEO Resigns, Firm Lowers EBITDA Guidance

By Reuters
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Pepco Group CEO Resigns, Firm Lowers EBITDA Guidance

European discount retailer Pepco Group has said that its CEO Trevor Masters will resign from the role with immediate effect, without providing a reason for the decision.

Andy Bond, chair of the board of directors, will assume the role of executive chair and will lead the overall management of the company until a new CEO is appointed, the company noted.

The firm also trimmed its full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) guidance, which is expected to be slightly lower than previously anticipated, but still in-line with analysts' consensus.

Erste Group's analyst Krzysztof Kawa estimated that the profit warning implies high single-digit growth of EBITDA versus the previous 'mid-teens' increase.

Guidance Update

The retailer reported that the change in guidance was prompted by weaker-than-expected sales performance, but the company reaffirmed that it will meet the full-year target for opening 550 new stores.

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Masters, a former Tesco executive, joined Pepco in 2019 and first took over as interim CEO last March, a role he had worked in for a month, before he was promoted to a permanent position.

Shares in the Warsaw-listed group, which owns the Pepco, Poundland and Dealz brands, fell over 4% in morning trading, at the bottom of Poland's blue chip index WIG20.

Challenging Times Ahead

J.P. Morgan analysts saw the immediate departure of the CEO as an indication of a challenging six to 12 months ahead for the company.

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"Management change with immediate effect may signal turbulence for the business in the near-term, but we do not see this as a negative development in the long run, expecting new leadership to adopt a more cost-conscious and returns-focused approach", the analysts commented.

At 08:19 GMT the shares were down 4.2%, pushing the year-to-date losses to more than 25%.

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