Value retailer B&M’s sales have rocketed during what boss Simon Arora described as its strongest first quarter in three years.

Sales soared 18.3% in actual rates and 17.2% in constant currencies to £656.3m during the period from March 26 to June 24 in the UK and from April 1 to June 30 in Germany.

B&M attributed the growth to strength in grocery, good weather and the timing of Easter.

While these rates of growth were slower than their counterparts last year, UK like-for-likes grew 7.3%, compared with a flat quarter last year.

The group’s German business Jawoll, which accounts for around 10% of revenue, grew at a faster rate than B&M in the UK with sales rising 23.9% in actual rates.

Arora said: “This quarter’s like-for like growth represents B&M’s strongest first quarter for three years.

“In these uncertain times, and with inflation returning to the UK market, more and more shoppers are actively seeking out value in our stores and that means our business is strongly positioned to do well and continue its rapid growth.”

B&M opened six new stores during the period and now operates 543 shops. It is targeting 950 UK stores in total.