Poland fashion chain LPP to expand in EU after pulling out of Ukraine, Russia

Gdansk (Reuters) -Poland’s biggest fashion retailer, LPP, said on Monday it would strengthen its presence in the European Union, shifting focus after suspending its business in Ukraine and closing stores in Russia.

Loss of the two eastern markets would cost 25% of revenue, it said.

In response, it will enter Italy, Greece and Cyprus next year and continue expanding its “Reserved” brand in Germany and Britain.

“After the difficult period of the pandemic, we faced further challenges related to losing a significant part of the sales network,” said Chief Financial Officer Przemyslaw Lutkiewicz, referring to the suspension of Ukrainian operations and decision to quit Russia.

“Despite this, the company’s situation remains stable, and the expected revenues for the current financial year, more than 16 billion zlotys ($3.76 billion), allow us to think calmly about the future of LPP,” Lutkiewicz added.

Since the company could not predict the future situation in Ukraine, it had decided to focus on EU markets where it was already present, he said. “At the same time, we want to debut in new markets, especially in the southern European region, where we see growth potential for our brands.”

The company will also focus this year on developing its e-commerce business, which in the fourth quarter of its financial year to January 31, 2022, exceeded 30% of total sales.

In the current year, the estimated value of revenues from online sales may reach 5 billion zlotys. That would be 31% if total revenue is 16 billion zlotys.

($1 = 4.2547 zlotys)

(Reporting by Adrianna Ebert; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Bradley Perrett)

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