File picture: Independent Media

JOHANNESBURG - Pepkor Holdings Limited, formerly known as Steinhoff Africa Retail Limited, on Monday reported a 10.9 percent growth to R64.2 billion in revenue while operating profit, excluding one-off costs, was up 10.7 percent to R6.4 billion in the year ended September 30.

The company, which owns South African retail brands such as Pep, Ackermans and HiFi Corporation, announced in May it had decided to change its name back to Pepkor Holdings in a bid to reaffirm its independence of Steinhoff International in the wake of an accounting irregularity scandal.

"The Pepkor group has completed its first financial year as a listed company and this is the first results publication under the Pepkor name," it said on Monday.

"The 2018 financial year will be remembered as a year that included numerous significant corporate matters, following the events that occurred at Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. (Steinhoff) in December 2017."

Pepkor's diluted headline earnings per share dipped 36.9 percent to 84.2 cents, but the company still declared a maiden dividend of 27.8 cents per share.

It said the current challenging trading environment and low business confidence was expected to continue for the foreseeable future, but would provide opportunities for Pepkor to grow market share. 

"Based on this, the group plans to open 300 stores, on a net basis, in the 2019 financial year, equating to approximately four percent retail space growth," Pepkor said.

Earlier on Monday, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange said it had censured Pepkor, which listed in September 2017, and fined it R5 million, R1 million of which was suspended for two years, for failing to make disclosures in breach of listing requirements.

It said Pepkor had fully cooperated with the JSE during its investigation and provided the bourse with sufficient assurance that steps had been taken to address these breaches.

- African News Agency (ANA)