B&M, which operates 1,059 B&M, Heron and Babou stores in the UK and France from its Liverpool HQ, has teamed up with Cash for Kids for its Mission Christmas campaign. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool-based retail giant B&M is aiming to deliver more than £15m worth of gifts to over 400,000 disadvantaged children this Christmas.
B&M, which operates 1,059 B&M, Heron and Babou stores in the UK and France, has teamed up with charity Cash for Kids for its Mission Christmas campaign. It is encouraging customers to pick up an extra gift while Christmas shopping the donate it at a designated drop-off point.
Mission Christmas caters for all ages – from babies, right up to teens – so anything that’s giftable and brand new (still in packaging) can be donated. Toys, games and health and beauty gift sets are all suitable gifts. And they must also be unwrapped. Last available date to drop-off is Friday, December 18.
In its latest trading update, Speke-based B&M said it would not be taking the £80m in business rates relief it was entitled to claim as part of the Government’s COVID-19 business support scheme. It has already handed back £3.7m in furlough cash.
In November, B&M aid adjusted pre-tax profits had increased by 128.5% to almost £253.6m in the 26 weeks to September 26. Revenues soared 25.3% to more than £2.2bn in the same period.
In the latest update said it had made a strong start to the second half of its financial year against a “highly uncertain” economic backdrop. In the the first 9 weeks of its third quarter its B&M UK stores saw a “steadily improving” customer count and like-for-like sales growth slightly ahead of the first half.
It now expects adjusted EBITDA for the 12 months to March 27, 2021, to be in the range of £600m to £650m. The analysts’ consensus estimate for adjusted EBITDA is currently £571m. In line with its capital allocation policy, the board will continue to evaluate capacity to return any surplus cash to shareholders.
Simon Arora, chief executive of B&M, said: “We are proud of the role we have played in this crisis, working very hard in our supply chain and stores to ensure our shoppers can rely on us for their everyday essentials.
“We request urgent reform of the outdated business rates system that is contributing to job losses across the retail sector and is acting as a deterrent to B&M and other potential occupiers taking up vacant space in many locations”