Bargain retailer B&M has reported a 12.1% increase in group sales revenue growth for the 13 weeks to 29 December 2018.
UK sales revenue for the period also increased by 4.5% to £874.5m, compared with £837m last year, however, life-for-like sales decreased by 1.6%, against the increase of 3.9% in 2017
The group said LFL sales were held back by a “disappointing November”, but added it ended with a “strong finish” in December with an increase 3.2% and £3.2m.
The retailer also said December’s “positive trading momentum” had continued into early trading in January, and added “careful control” of inventory has meant that stocks for the January 2019 end of season sale period were below the levels of last year.
B&M opened 20 new stores in the quarter and said it continued to see “attractive returns” from the new store opening programme, as well as being on track to open 56 new stores in FY19.
CEO Simon Arora said: “Despite the broader economic uncertainty over the last quarter, B&M is on track to deliver a record year for both sales and earnings, representing our fourteenth consecutive year of profit growth.
“The business’ ability to manage profitability through uncertain trading conditions is testament to the resilience of the business model and the strong operational controls we have in place. We continue to open new stores and win market share when other retailers are retrenching.”
He added: “I would like to thank all our colleagues across our UK, German and French businesses for their hard work and commitment over our busiest ever peak Christmas period. I am pleased by the December trading and the positive momentum with which we enter 2019. We look forward to the year ahead with confidence as our value proposition is clearly resonating with shoppers.”