Lockdown sales boom sees B&M Bargains profits surge

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Sales have boomed at discount retailer B&M Bargains as it continued to feed and water the nation during multiple lockdowns.

Group revenues for the year to 27 March jumped nearly 26 per cent to £4.8bn, up from £3.8bn in the previous year.

Adjusted EBITDA increased by 83 per cent to £626.4m, up from £342.3m, driven by the strong performance of the core B&M UK business.

Group statutory pre-tax profits stood at £525.4m, climbing from £252m in the previous year, representing an increase of 108.5 per cent.

During the year, B&M opened 43 new stores, taking total stores to 1,091. The new openings weighted towards H2 following initial delays caused by Covid-19 at the start of FY21, offset by 18 closures.

Looking ahead, the group’s growth strategy remains unchanged and it is committed to a rollout target of at least 950 B&M UK stores, with 45 new stores expected to launch next year.

The geographic expansion of the Heron Foods convenience store chain will also continue, alongside developing a “compelling proposition” in France.

CEO Simon Arora said: “The last year has been an exceptional one.  Our results reflect the speed at which we responded to the challenges presented by Covid-19, and the strength of our execution.

“The core B&M UK business, as an essential retailer, traded throughout the year and welcomed a number of new shoppers, with colleagues working tirelessly to maintain on-shelf availability and provide a safe shopping environment.

“We also made strong progress in France, despite many stores being closed for up to ten weeks throughout the year.  I express my sincere thanks to colleagues across the Group for all of their efforts and determination.

“Looking ahead, there are many uncertainties as society slowly emerges from lockdown and trading patterns are likely to be unpredictable for much of the year.

Simon Arora, CEO, BM

“Within our UK business, we will be up against the strong comparatives from last year but we remain confident that the B&M customer proposition, with its modern network of predominantly Out of Town stores and value-led variety offer, will prove highly relevant to the needs of shoppers.

“As such, we are well positioned to support the communities in which we trade, retain the loyalty of new customers, and to continue our store roll-out strategy.”

The group has recommended final dividend of 13p per share, an increase of 140.7 per cent from 5.4p per share, bringing the full year ordinary dividend to 17.3p per share.

This is in addition to £450m of special dividends paid in FY21.