B&M Making Good Progress In Tough Market

B&M said today that it remains on track to meet its full year profit expectations after it reported a strong rise in quarterly sales, despite the “challenging trading conditions”.

During the 13 weeks to 25 June, total sales at the multi-price value retailer’s UK outlets jumped 21.3% to £508.1m, boosted by new store openings. Like-for-like sales were flat, although excluding stores that are within a three mile radius of a recent new B&M store opening, the group said underlying sales had risen 1.7%.

The group revealed that the quarter had a slow start to like-for-like sales due to the poor weather and the timing of Easter compared to last year, but rebounded sharply in May. It added that current trading was stable despite the changeable weather conditions impacting sales of outdoor and garden products.

B&M opened 12 net new stores during the quarter with 511 outlets trading in the UK at the end of the period. The group reiterated its longer term target of 850 stores with 50 openings expected by the end of this financial year.

In Germany, the group’s Jawoll chain saw sales rise 23.5% to £46.7m. The business started the year with 56 stores with the group saying it is on target to reach 75 stores by the year end.

Simon Arora, Chief Executive, commented: “Against a highly competitive backdrop, our robust and compelling retail business model delivered 21% growth over this first quarter. We have a well-defined and clear strategy for further growth and for B&M it remains ‘business as usual’ despite broader general economic uncertainty. Our outstanding value for money proposition to customers leaves us well-placed to continue to win market share.”

NAM Implications:
  • Any NAM already involved with B&M knows how collaborative this multi-price value retailer can be…
  • Suppliers not yet connected might well benefit from an approach…
  • …which could give some practice in managing the new post-Steinhoff Poundland as they transition to multi-price retailing…
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