B&M to open up to 45 stores after sales surge during lockdown

The company said it has been buoyed by a ‘strong’ first half of trading, as group revenues grew by 25.3% in the six months to September 26.

A B&M store
A B&M store

Discount retailer B&M Bargains has said it plans to open up to 45 stores this financial year, as it lifted its profit target on the back of surging sales.

Knockdown prices and spacious stores helped to drive customer traffic during the lockdown period, as its stores remained open due to essential status.

B&M European Value Retail said it plans to open between 40 and 45 stores by the end of the financial year in March, with a significant number of these coming in the fourth quarter.

The company said it has been buoyed by a “strong” first half of trading, as group revenues grew by 25.3% in the six months to September 26.

This was particularly driven by 29.5% growth from its UK retail stores.

It said it now expects to post earnings before tax and interest of £285 million for the half-year, ahead of its previous guidance of between £250 million and £270 million.

Simon Arora, chief executive of the retailer, said the group “performed well” in the first half of the year.

“Our business model is proving well-attuned to the evolving needs of customers, given our combination of everyday value across a broad range of product categories being sold at convenient out-of-town locations,” he said.

“Our people have risen to the many challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis, not least in serving our customers through a period of high demand, keeping our shelves filled, providing a clean and safe shopping environment, as well as sourcing higher volumes than we had planned.”

Amisha Chohan, equity research analyst at Quilter Cheviot, said: “B&M announced another positive trading update this morning, proving it is firing on all cylinders in both the UK and France.

“The retailer is also winning market share and has attracted a new, middle class, customer base – who are beginning to shop with them regularly.

“We believe B&M will continue to outperform peers as consumers become much more money conscious.”

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