B&M hails strong ‘Golden Quarter’ and announces special dividend pay-out

B&M's head office in Liverpool

Liverpool-based value retailer, B&M, reported strong ‘Golden Quarter’ sales over the all-important Christmas trading period, today.

And it announced a belated Christmas present for its shareholders with a special dividend to be paid next month.

The group, based in Speke, South Liverpool, issued a third quarter trading update for the period to December 24, revealing 12.3% total group revenue growth in the reporting period, hitting £1.567bn sales.

Its UK business reported a 10.3% boost in sales, with one-year like-for-like sales growing by 6.4%.

All the UK categories recorded good performances, both in grocery and general merchandise.

And, against the background of a cost-of-living crisis affecting many consumers, B&M said its stock disciplines remained robust, allowing stock reduction of approximately £100m year on year.

Trading momentum in B&M France continued through the third quarter, with revenue up 24.9%.

The Heron Foods arm also achieved good trading momentum, showing a 22.5% increase in revenues during the quarter.

B&M said its sourcing model and its flexibility provides a strong point of differentiation. The supply chains across the three businesses executed well in the quarter.

It said its full year group adjusted EBITDA is now expected to be in the range of £560m-£580m, which is ahead of current analysts’ consensus estimates of £557m.

And, reflecting the strong trading performance, the group announced today that it will pay a special dividend of 20p per ordinary share, due to be delivered on February 3.

Alex Russo

Alex Russo, who replaced co-founder Simon Arora as chief executive last September, said: “Our strong momentum throughout the Golden Quarter across the businesses demonstrates the strength of our unchanged strategy to relentlessly focus on price, product and excellence in retail execution.

“Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, we will continue to work hard to help both existing and new customers manage the cost-of-living crisis.”

He added: “The business has exited the quarter well and will remain focused on disciplined execution.”