Sales hit £2.27bn at Liverpool value retail giant B&M in the half year to September 25 and the business says it has overcome supply chain issue to be fully stocked for Christmas. Tony McDonough reports
Value retail giant B&M says its has overcome the UK supply crisis and is now fully stocked ahead of its crucial Christmas trading period.
In its interim results for the six months to September 25, south Liverpool-based B&M reported revenues close to £2.27bn from its 1,097 stores in the UK and France, up 1.2% on the same period last year.
Revenues from the 686-strong B&M UK estate were up 1.3% to £1.9bn. B&M stores in France saw a significant uplift of 10.6% to £155.4m while its UK frozen food chain, Heron Foods, actually saw a 6.1% drop in revenues to £203.1m. Group pre-tax profit rose 2.4% to £241.4m.
The report said: “Gross margin performance was particularly strong due to a favourable sales mix and limited end-of-season markdown activity across general merchandise categories, while performance in grocery was also pleasing.”
B&M, which operates from a large distribution centre and head office in Speke, has seen its total number of stores rise by 38 since the same half year period in 2020. It said trading at Heron Food was “more challenging” but added earning were “satisfactory”.
Chief executive Simon Arora said: “The group has performed strongly throughout the first half of our financial year, with customers continuing to be drawn to our value for money offer.
“We have responded decisively to supply chain challenges by leveraging our strong supplier relationships and we have improved in-store execution. As a consequence, we are fully stocked heading into the Golden Quarter (Christmas).
“Stores are already showcasing our excellent Christmas ranges. To colleagues across the group, I express my gratitude for their dedication, skill and commitment, which have made these results possible.
“Although the pathway to a ‘new normal’ remains uncertain and the industry faces a number of supply and inflationary pressures as we enter the second half of the financial year, we are very confident that the B&M Group is well positioned to navigate these and will continue to be successful both in the UK and in France.”