Takeover target Poundland has posted a slump in annual profits after a "challenging but transformative" year as its suitor stepped up its pursuit with a 23 per cent stake in the business.
South African retail group Steinhoff, which owns UK furniture firm Harveys and Bensons For Beds, revealed late on Wednesday that it had bought 61.2 million ordinary shares in the budget retailer and confirmed any potential offer would be made in cash.
Its bid interest comes after a testing time for Poundland, which had seen its shares slump by a third in a year following tough trading and a difficult takeover of rival 99p Stores.
Annual results laid bare the group's sales woes as underlying pre-tax profits fell 13.5 per cent to £37.8m in the year to March 27.
Bottom-line pre-tax profits crashed 83.7 per cent to £5.9m, but this includes converted 99p Stores.