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B&M hails year of ‘solid growth’ despite pandemic

B&M has revealed that group revenue increased by 16.5% to £3,813.4m in the full-year ended 28 March, despite the effects of the ongoing pandemic. 

In the same period, its UK business delivered “strong trading”, with revenue up by 12.6% in the period. This included a like-for-like growth of 3.3% for the year, and a like-for-like growth of 6.6% in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, group profit before tax increased by 3.2% to £252m in the 52 week period, while EBITDA across its UK business was up 8.7% to £319.8m.

Throughout the year of “solid growth”, 36 net new B&M UK fascia stores opened and a further 30 net new store openings are planned for the coming financial year. 

The rate of new openings was “impacted by disruption” from Covid-19, but the retailer maintained that its overall long term target of at least 950 UK B&M stores “remains unchanged”.

In its full-year update, the retailer said that the performance of new stores “exceeded its expectations” and demonstrated a “continued ability to deliver profitable organic growth”. 

It added: “For many retailers the outlook in the Covid-19 world is more about survival than it is about the shape of the year ahead and beyond. B&M has significant advantages. 

“The ‘variety retailing’ model with its core strength in everyday essentials, a well-invested infrastructure, strong value credentials, a modern and convenient store network with continuing growth opportunities in the UK and France, mean that the business is better positioned and more resilient than most to deal with the new realities.”

CEO Simon Arora said: “So much about our lives has changed so profoundly and so fast as a result of Covid-19 that a financial year which ended only a short time ago already seems a world away. 

“The challenges posed by the virus have been beyond anything we have experienced before; they have tested every aspect of the way we do business in recent weeks and I’m pleased to say that B&M is coming through the crisis well because of the strength of the B&M proposition and the way our team has responded to those challenges.” 

He added: “Looking ahead, there are of course many uncertainties for the economy, consumers and not least for the retail industry. 

“I am however confident though that B&M with its modern network of mostly out-of-town stores, well-invested infrastructure and value-led variety offer is well positioned to support the communities in which we trade for whatever lies ahead.”

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