B&M confident on Christmas despite profits fall

Half-year profits fall 25% at Liverpool retail giant B&M to £178m but the business remains confident about the ‘golden quarter’ festive period. Tony McDonough reports

B&M, BandM, retail, store
B&M is confident on trading as it heads into the festive period. Picture by Tony McDonough


Value retailer B&M is reporting half year sales of more than £2.3bn for the half year to September 24 but profits fell in a tougher trading environment.

South Liverpool-based B&M operates 1,129 stores in the UK and France. These include 704 B&M stores in the UK, 111 in France and a further 314 outlets in the UK at frozen food chain Heron.

Group revenues rose 1.8% compared to the same period last year. However, revenue from B&M stores in the UK fell 0.9% year-on-year. B&M in France and Heron both saw revenue rises of 18.2% and 14.6% respectively.

Total gross new store openings in the half year for B&M UK were 10, four in France and seven in Heron. B&M says new space is performing well and store standards continue to strengthen. It has a long-term aim to operate 950 B&M outlets in the UK.

B&M says trading has been “good” in the first six weeks of the “golden quarter”. This refers to the period covering the lucrative Christmas trading season.

Chief executive Alex Russo, who took over from the retiring Simon Arora in September, said: “Sales momentum is good as we enter a difficult period for the economy and consumers.

“Our value-based approach is winning with existing and new customers, and we will do our very best to help them weather the cost-of-living crisis. We are well positioned as we trade through the golden quarter and our strategy remains unchanged – a relentless focus on price and product.”

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