B&M books profit & sales uptick after year of expansion

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B&M profits
// B&M full year profit before tax up 8.7% to £249.4m
// Sales up 17.1% to £3.49bn
// B&M opened 44 new stores in the UK and expanded to France with acquisition of Babou

B&M has posted another year of profit and revenue growth thanks to a year of expansion, despite issues in its German business and a weak period for homeware sales.

In the discount retailer’s financial year ending March 30, group profit before tax increased by 8.7 per cent to £249.4 million.

Meanwhile, revenues surged 17.1 per cent to £3.49 billion as the retailer added 44 new UK stores and continued plans for overseas expansion, one of which was the acquisition of French retailer Babou in October.

In the UK, B&M enjoyed growth of 8.7 per cent, while like-for-like revenue growth was 0.7 per cent – with a boost of 5.8 per cent in the final quarter.

Despite this, the firm said its group-wide performance was adversely impacted by weak performance of homeware in the second and third quarters, which prompted a revamp of the entire category.

“B&M has again delivered strong results against the challenging backdrop of continued structural change in our industry, rising costs and uncertain times for consumers, demonstrating that its value credentials remain as resonant as ever with customers, whether they need a bargain or just enjoy one,” chief executive Simon Arora said.

In Germany, B&M faced declining profitability at its Jawoll chain due to its efforts to shift slow-moving stock.

“With most of this costly activity now concluded, the Jawoll team are able to offer its shoppers a more compelling product range, utilising B&M’s approach to limited assortment and directly-sourced product, being the key drivers of our disruptive pricing in the UK,” B&M said in its trading update.

The firm said it would push ahead on bringing its model to the French and German markets over the next two years.

Meanwhile, in the UK another 50 B&M stores are planned for the current financial year.

The expansion is being turbocharged by the availability of retail space following a number of high-profile collapses and store closures from CVAs.

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