From its Liverpool base B&M operates 1,050 B&M and Heron stores across the UK and 101 Babou and B&M stores in France. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool-based value retail giant B&M is reporting a strong start to its financial year with sales surging in its UK stores and trading resuming in its French chain.
From its Speke base B&M operates 1,050 B&M and Heron stores across the UK and 101 Babou and B&M stores in France. For the period from March 29 to June 27, the business saw like-for-like revenue growth of 26.9% to more than £1.15bn.
In its 656-strong UK B&M chain sales revenue for the 13-week period increased by 33.7% to £987.8m. Heron Foods, B&M’s convenience store chain, increased sales by 21.4% to £113m.
B&M’s French business generated £54m of revenue in the quarter, which was a decrease of 25.7%, as a result of the period in which the stores were closed due to the coronavirus lockdown. Babou has seen positive sales growth since the stores re-opened on May 11.
The company is also reporting steady recovery in like-for-like customer count over the quarter after the initial decline during lockdown, alongside significantly increased average transaction value versus the prior year.
In June B&M reported a 16.5% surge in annual sales to more than £3.8bn in the year to March 28, 2020. The company saw pre-tax profits rise to £252m from £244.3m last year.
Chief executive Simon Arora said: “The group has made a strong start to the financial year, with a particularly strong performance in our UK businesses, and progress now resumed in France after an eight-week closure period.
“However, as outlined at our preliminary results for the last financial year announced on June 11, there are a great deal of uncertainties ahead. The safety of our colleagues and customers remains our priority whilst we work hard to continue to meet our customers’ needs in these difficult times.”
In this financial year the B&M UK business is expected to open at least 30 net new stores and Heron Foods to open at least 15 net new stores. Both programmes will be loaded towards the back end of the financial year.