B&M manages profitability in an uncertain market
Published: 10 January 2019 - Kiran Grewal
UK variety goods value retailer, B&M European Value Retail S.A., has today announced a trading update for the third quarter of its current financial year, relating to the 13 week period from 30 September 2018 to 29 December 2018.
This saw Group sales revenue growth in the quarter of 12.1% at constant currency. B&M UK sales revenue in the 13 week period increased by 4.5% to £874.5m, in 2017 it was at £837.3m, although B&M UK like-for-like revenues for the quarter saw a reduction in 1.6% against a strong prior year comparable of +3.9%.
The business said it saw a pleasing finish to the quarter with December B&M UK +1.2% like-for-like sales and +3.2% like-for-like cash gross margin, after a difficult November period.
December’s positive trading momentum has continued into early trading in January. Careful control of inventory has meant that stocks for the January 2019 end of season sale period are below the levels of last year, which should provide further support to the margin over Q4.
B&M has opened a net 20 new stores in the quarter and the company has said it will continue to see attractive returns from the new store opening programme. It is now on track to open 56 gross new stores in FY19.
Simon Arora, chief executive of B&M, said: "Despite the broader economic uncertainty over the last quarter, B&M is on track to deliver a record year for both sales and earnings, representing our fourteenth consecutive year of profit growth.
"The business’ ability to manage profitability through uncertain trading conditions is testament to the resilience of the business model and the strong operational controls we have in place. We continue to open new stores and win market share when other retailers are retrenching."