LFL Sales Growth Slows At B&M

The rapidly expanding value retailer B&M today posted a 23.6% rise in annual turnover to £2.04bn following the opening of a record 79 stores during the year. However, like-for-like sales in the UK edged up just 0.3%, compared to 4.4% the previous year, with the group blaming deflation in the grocery sector and some cannibalisation of sales by new outlets opened in close proximity to existing stores.

Pre-tax profits more than doubled to £154.5m, whilst adjusted group EBITDA increased by 16.2% to £202.5m.

At the end of the financial period to 26 March, the group operated 499 outlets in the UK. It plans to open another 50 this year in the UK and 19 in Germany.

Simon Arora, Chief Executive, said: “B&M’s disruptive pricing, unique sourcing model and range discipline has continued to drive our business forward to win market share. More people are able to access our stores as a result of our continuing and successful new store programme. We now regularly serve 3.3 million customers on average each week. As a result of a record 79 new stores opened in the financial year, we have now passed the milestone of 500 UK stores. In the UK there are many locations where we don’t currently trade but would like to and in Germany we are beginning to accelerate our pace of expansion, and we continue to see attractive returns from our new store programme.”

The group added that whilst it was mindful that the general economic outlook is uncertain, and the market remains fiercely competitive, it had made a “solid start” to the new financial year.