Nov 12, 2020
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B&M benefits from its value offer as half-year sales and earnings leap

Nov 12, 2020

It’s all in the name. B&M European Value Retail continued to be one of the success stories of 2020, with figures released Thursday that many in retail can only dream of in a pandemic-ravaged year of trading.

B&M European Value Retail

Billing itself as “the UK's leading variety goods value retailer”, B&M’s “strong first half” reflects a business in-tune with its customer base offering the right-priced merchandise. And that meant sales leapt 25.3% to £2.242 billion for the 26 weeks to 26 September.

Core UK operations, which includes selling non-core clothing, accessories and beauty products, delivered an even-better 29.5% jump in sales, including like-for-like revenues up 23%, with Q1 comps up 26.9% and Q2 rising 19.1%.

Even an expected moderation in H2 store sales hasn’t materialised, with Q3 so far trading at a "similar level" to H1, it said. And, as a retailer of mostly-essential goods, with all its UK stores remaining open in the current lockdown, trading figures should continue to head strongly upwards.

Group adjusted EBITDA leapt 95.3% to £295.6 million from £151.4 million a year ago (on a pre-IFRS16 basis). Group statutory profit before tax, post-IFRS16, increased 122.4% to £235.6 million.

The group, which owns Babou in France, even managed to oped more stores than close them in the half-year period, (+9 against -8) and B&M said it's on track to open 40-45 new UK stores this financial year, offset by 10 closures. B&M UK said it remains committed to its new store rollout strategy and has "a long growth runway" from the current base of 657 B&M fascia stores to a UK store target of 950 stores. 

CEO Simon Arora said: "The Group delivered a strong performance in the first half, with our business model proving well-attuned to the evolving needs of customers.  Our combination of everyday value across a broad range of product categories and convenient Out of Town locations has proved popular with shoppers. 

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

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