• Seven retail IPOs raise £2.1 billion so far this year

• Jim McCarthy, CEO, Poundland opens London trading today

• Strongest first three months of the year for overall IPO activity since 2007

• Return of private-equity backed companies to the market

London Stock Exchange has welcomed seven new retail companies to its markets, raising £2.1 billion, in the first few months of the year – a clear sign that investor appetite for retail companies is strong.

The market has seen a diverse range of retail companies come to London, from well known domestic brands such as Poundland, Boohoo.com, Pets At Home, McColls and AO World, as well as international companies such as the Russian hypermarket chain, Lenta and the Indian online fashion retailer, Koovs.

The boost in retail listings this year has helped raise overall IPO activity to pre-2007 levels. Notably, the IPO market is providing viable exit opportunities for private equity and venture capital firms, with six private equity-backed listings on London's markets year to date.

London Stock Exchange (PD)Key statistics:

– Five retail Main Market IPOs raise £1.78 billion & two retail AIM IPOs raise £322 million

– 70 retail companies currently listed on our markets – 23 AIM & 47 Main Market

– Six private equity-backed IPOs to date in 2014

Alastair Walmsley, Head of Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange Group, said:

"The surge in retail IPO activity over the last few months can be attributed in part to a reawakening of investor appetite for equity. 2014 looks set to be a strong year for London's equity market, with a healthy number of UK and international companies seeing the opportunity offered by our markets as a platform for their future growth. The strength of our pipeline underlines the power of equity to enable companies to achieve their strategic ambitions and we look forward to welcoming more high quality and well known businesses to our markets in the coming months."

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