B&M has hailed a “strong” start to its financial year after like-for-like sales increased 1.6% during its first quarter.

The value retailer said the performance during the 13 weeks to June 30 came despite “demanding” year-on-year comparables. Like-for-likes advanced 7% in the same quarter of 2017.

B&M’s group revenues surged 21.3% during the period, boosted by an 8.3% increase in its core UK business.

The retailer opened four new stores in the quarter and said it remained “on track” to launch 50 new stores across its full year.

It also opened four new shops under the Heron Foods fascia – the convenience food chain it acquired a year ago.

Outside of the UK, B&M hailed “encouraging progress” at its Jawoll business in Germany, where a 7% increase in revenues was driven by sales in the gardening category.

B&M boss Simon Arora said: “The business has performed strongly in the quarter despite demanding comparables of 7% LFLs in the previous year and a sluggish market environment.

“Our competitively priced ranges for garden and outdoor leisure have been very well received and they are achieving great rates of sell-through. We have enjoyed record sales in these seasonal product categories, which is a testament to the appeal of our highly disruptive business model.”