// B&M witnesses decline in underlying sales in its home market
// Like-for-like revenue at its UK business fell 4.4% in the 13 weeks to June 26
B&M has reported a drop in underlying sales in its home market, as shoppers swerved homewares sales following ease of restrictions.
The discount retailer said like-for-like revenue at its UK business fell 4.4 per cent in the 13 weeks to June 26, its fiscal first quarter, versus a growth of 24.5 per cent in the second half of its 2020-21 year.
Comparing the period to the first quarter two years ago, before the pandemic impacted trading, like-for-like revenue was up 21.3 per cent.
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B&M said trading patterns were “volatile” throughout the quarter, with a pull-forward in gardening demand boosting revenue in the final two weeks of the 2020-21 year and early weeks of 2021-22.
It said overall group revenue rose 3.1 per cent in the quarter.
The retailer opened seven new stores during the period, while closing down four stores.
B&M said while it continued to be too early to predict likely revenue and profitability outcomes for 2021-22, the group was on track with its plans for the year and expected the two-year like-for-like measure in the core B&M UK business to remain strong.
“The group has made a strong start to the new financial year and sales remain significantly above pre-pandemic levels,” B&M chief executive Simon Arora said.
“As expected, trading throughout the first quarter was volatile as we annualised against the high comparatives from last year.
“Although there remains much uncertainty as to how consumer spending evolves over the coming months, we remain optimistic that our combination of exceptional value across a wide range of product categories and our convenient Out of Town locations will continue to resonate with customers.”