B&M appoints CEO successor as FY revenues dip

Its latest results come as the group has named its new CEO, Alex Russo, who will succeed Simon Arora who intends to retire next year

B&M has revealed that sales dipped in its latest full-year results, alongside the announcement of a new CEO, as revenue fell by 2.7% to £4.7bn against the prior year, despite increasing 22.5% on a two-year basis against FY20.

Its UK fascia revenue decreased 4.1% year-on-year, largely driven by a one-year like-for-like  revenue decline of 9%. On a two-year basis, LFL revenues were up 13.0% however, with sales densities “significantly higher” than pre-pandemic levels due to the retention of new customers.

Its latest results come as the group has named its new CEO, Alex Russo, who will succeed Simon Arora who intends to retire next year. Russo is currently CFO within the group and will succeed Arora on a date to be confirmed in due course.

B&M said the appointment “reflects the outcome of a thorough assessment and external benchmarking process” over the last six weeks, where it was advised by Russell Reynolds Associates. 

It said that Russo brings “considerable” relevant experience across the Grocery, General Merchandise and discount retail sectors to the group. 

He previously held senior leadership positions at Asda, Tesco plc and Kingfisher plc, and joined B&M in October 2020, where he has since “demonstrated impressive commercial acumen and operational management skills in addition to being a highly capable CFO”.   

Chairman Peter Bamford said: “On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to announce Alex Russo as successor to Simon Arora as CEO of B&M.  Since joining the Group, Alex has made a very positive contribution to the business.  He has demonstrated strong leadership skills and a deep appreciation of the B&M culture and business model, making him the outstanding candidate for the role.

“I would once again like to thank Simon for his role in the remarkable growth story of B&M.  He has brought exceptional clarity, focus and consistency, all of which have been fundamental to its success. I will miss working with him when he does step down, but I am also very much looking forward to working more closely with Alex when he becomes CEO.”  

Russo said: “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to build on Simon’s legacy and lead this fantastic business in the years ahead.  We have a well-founded strategy, a very strong customer proposition and significant opportunities for further growth ahead of us.  Along with the support of the Board, I look forward to working together with Bobby Arora and the rest of the senior management team in the years ahead.”

Arora said: “I would like to thank all our colleagues and stakeholders for their support over the last seventeen years. It has been an honour to lead B&M and together build such a large and popular retailer. I believe that Alex is uniquely well placed to continue B&M’s success and I will work hard to ensure a smooth transition.”

He added: “The retail industry is facing inflationary pressures whilst our customers are having to cope with a significant increase in the cost of living, making spending behaviour in the year ahead difficult to predict. 

“However, we have seen before that during such times customers will increasingly seek out value for money, and B&M is ideally placed to serve those needs.  As such, we are well positioned to support the communities in which we trade and continue our long-term growth strategy.”

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