B&M has upped its adjusted EBITDA range for the full year off the back of what boss Simon Arora called “a very strong golden quarter” trading period. 

B&M Bargains

For the 13 weeks to December 25, value retailer B&M reported a 14% increase in sales on a two-year basis compared with pre-pandemic, despite revenues from stores for the period being down 2.5% on a year-on-year basis. 

Group revenue growth for the period was 0.1% compared with 2020, but B&M upped its full-year EBITDA expectations to between £605m and £625m – well ahead of the current analysts’ consensus of £578m.

The retailer reported “strong performance across categories, with excellent sell-through of seasonal ranges supporting gross margin in the quarter”.

The performance of its Heron Foods brand continued to improve during the period, as did its French business, which reported a 30% increase in sales for the quarter with all but one of the region’s 107 stores trading under a B&M fascia. 

B&M said it would reward its 24,000 store colleagues with a discretionary bonus payment of an extra week’s wages in January “for their considerable efforts this year”.

Chief executive Simon Arora said: “The group has delivered a very strong golden quarter, with our two-year like-for-like performance demonstrating strong retention of new customers.

“Our decision to take receipt of imported Christmas stock early in the season meant we were able to provide customers with great products at great prices. 

“The consistency of performance in the core B&M UK business reflects the growing appeal of our stores as a destination visit for seasonal products, as well as the strength of our supply chain.

“I would like to thank all of our colleagues for helping to deliver our best-ever Christmas. Although the pandemic continues to create challenges for retailers and consumers alike, our relentless focus on value for money remains undiminished.

“Despite ongoing supply chain disruption, inflationary pressures and uncertainty surrounding possible Covid-related restrictions, we remain confident in B&M’s prospects for 2022.”

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