B&M has posted an uplift in full-year profits bolstered by strong sales growth, and reports that revenues throughout the coronavirus pandemic have been “strong”.
The value retailer posted a 3.2% rise in pre-tax profit to £252m in the 52 weeks to March 28, driven by a 16.5% rise in revenue to £3.8bn.
B&M’s overall sales grew 12.5% in the year, up 3.3% on a like-for-like basis during the year and up 6.6% in the fourth quarter.
The value retailer also said that trading since year-end had been “strong.”
B&M opened a net 36 new stores in the UK during the year and although coronavirus disruption has slowed its rate of store openings, the business said its overall ambition to operate 950 UK stores was unchanged.
The retailer’s French subsidiary Babou had 19 of its 101-strong store estate trade as B&M branded stores as a test of the store format, but the process was interrupted by mandated store closures in the region between March 15 and May 11.
The retailer’s chief executive Simon Arora said: I”n this last financial year our core B&M UK business delivered solid growth, as did our Heron Foods convenience store business. However, so much about our lives has changed so profoundly and so fast as a result of Covid-19 that a financial year which ended only a short time ago already seems a world away.
“It is an understatement to say that the progress made during the year has been overtaken by recent events. The challenges posed by the virus have been beyond anything we have experienced before; they have tested every aspect of the way we do business in recent weeks and I’m pleased to say that B&M is coming through the crisis well because of the strength of the B&M proposition and the way our team has responded to those challenges.
“Looking ahead, there are of course many uncertainties for the economy, consumers and not least for the retail industry. We will all be living with the consequences of the virus and the public health responses to it for a long time to come. I am however confident though that B&M with its modern network of mostly out-of-town stores, well-invested infrastructure and value-led variety offer is well positioned to support the communities in which we trade for whatever lies ahead.”