B&M pretax profits double in first half

B&M pretax profits double in first half
B&M noted that its third-quarter sales are currently at a similar level to those recorded in its first quarter.
// B&M revenues up 25%
// Retailer will repay £3.7m in furlough support received during first lockdown
// B&M “remains confident” in future prospects after encouraging start to second half

B&M posted a 121 per cent rise in pretax profits for the first half of its year to September 26, from £106 million to £235.6 million.

The discount retailer saw revenues in the first half rise by a quarter, from £1.79 billion to £2.24 billion.

“The group delivered a strong performance in the first half, with our business model proving well-attuned to the evolving needs of customers,” chief executive Simon Arora said.

READ MORE: B&M to open 45 new UK stores after raising profit forecast

“During such challenging times, we have been proud to play an active role in supporting the communities in which we operate, having created over 1,800 new jobs across the group during the past six months in addition to repaying the £3.7m furlough support originally received during the height of the crisis,” Arora added.

The retailer said while it plans for second-half sales to “moderate”, its third-quarter sales are currently at a similar level to those recorded in its first quarter, which were up 27 per cent year on year in like-for-like terms.

“Despite the wider economic uncertainty and ongoing restrictions related to Covid-19, we remain confident in our business model and future prospects.”

B&M raised its interim dividend by 59 per cent to 4.3p per share from 2.7p last year.

The value retailer also announced that it would deliver a special dividend of 25.0p, equating to around a £250 million payout in total.

Even with such encouraging results, B&M said it is cautious of the year ahead, noting that there is “significant uncertainty” around the latest coronavirus restrictions for the second half of its year.

The retailer added that the range of potential outcomes for its current financial year remain “unusually wide at this stage of the year”, adding that it is “difficult to make a clear assessment of how consumers will react over the coming months”.

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