Pre-tax profits just shy of £500m at retailer B&M

Liverpool value retail giant B&M is reporting annual pre-tax profits up 14% to almost £500m as it accelerates its store opening programme. Tony McDonough reports

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B&M operates its headquarters and main distribution hub in Liverpool


Value retailer B&M is accelerating towards its target of 1,200 UK stores as it reports annual pre-tax profits of £498m

In the 12 months to March 30, Liverpool-based B&M increased the number of UK outlets by almost 50 to 741 with another 45 set to open during the current financial year. As previously reported, sales were up 10.1% to £5.5bn.

From its headquarters and distribution base in south Liverpool, B&M now operates 741 stores in the UK under the B&M brand, 335 stores under the Heron Foods and B&M Express brands, and 124 B&M stores in France.

Chief executive Alex Russo said: “FY24 has been another good year for B&M. The three key components of our business – buying, logistics and retail, are working in balance and we continue to deliver excellent products at everyday low prices to our consumers.

“We are well set for the years ahead. During Q4, we accelerated our opening programme, and the step up in openings is continuing. In FY25, we will open not less than 45 gross new B&M stores in the UK, plus a meaningful number in France and for Heron. 

“We have also raised our long-term store target to not less than 1,200 B&M UK stores, which provides a clear runway of profitable growth ahead for us, from our current base of 741 B&M UK stores.

We have demonstrated strong volume-led momentum in our business throughout our trading history and that has continued, driving our profits ahead of both pandemic and pre-pandemic benchmarks.

“Despite the more challenging comparatives, with continued new store openings, and a laser focus on low prices and best in class retail standards, we remain confident in our outlook for cash generation and profit growth.”

B&M is also looking at growth across the channel via its French store network. In the report, it said: “Our French business has operational momentum and we will continue to grow it in a disciplined way, driving increased sales densities.

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“Once again France delivered strong like-for-like growth, the number of openings increased and delivered an adjusted EBITDA margin of 9.1%.

“The potential for store openings in France remains very high. France has a similar sized population to the UK, where we have targeted at least 1,200 stores. The long-term number of stores in France remains a multiple of the 124 stores we operate today.”

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