B&M accelerates store rollout drive; sees potential in France

Value retailer B&M has reported a growth in sales and profit as new stores contributed to its positive performance with plans in place to expand further.

According to its preliminary results for the 53-week period to 30 March 2024, total group revenues reached £5.5bn, increasing by 10.1%, up from £4.9bn in 2023.

Adjusted EBITDA resulted £629m, up 9.7% from £573m, while pre-tax profit stood at £498m, increasing 14.1% from £436m year-on-year.

In the UK, B&M posted sales of £4.4bn, rising 8.5%, with like-for-like revenues up 3.7%. “This was underpinned by volume growth driven from our new store opening programme and positive LFL customer transactions,” the retailer said.

In France, sales rose 19.2% to £514m, driven by positive customer transaction numbers.

Commenting on the store rollout plan, Alex Russo, Chief Executive, said: “During the financial year we announced a new, long-term store target of not less than 1,200 B&M UK stores, a significant increase from the 950 we had guided to previously. With just 741 stores currently, we have many more years of profitable, cash generating growth ahead.

“Alongside this update to our long-term target, we also announced an acceleration in our short-term opening programme, to at least 45 stores per annum over a three-year period. During FY24, the first year of this programme, we have opened 47 stores. Net of a small number of closures/replacements, we finished the year with 741 stores, an increase in store numbers of c.5% versus the start of the year.

“We intend to maintain our momentum and in the first quarter of FY25, also expect to open between 15 to 20 B&M UK stores, many of which will be former Wilko stores.

“The positive impact of the opening programme should be noted. A new store’s sales represent 100% volume growth, so over the next three years, this opening programme will generate substantial additional volume. LFL volume growth will continue to increase total volume growth further.

“The potential for store openings in France remains very high. France has a similar sized population to the UK, where we have targeted at least 1,200 stores. The long-term number of stores in France remains a multiple of the 124 stores we operate today.”

Furthermore, B&M has announced the appointment of Tiffany Hall as Non-Executive Chair of the Board of Directors of the Company with effect from the Company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 23 July 2024.

The appointment follows an extensive search process undertaken by the Board with the support of an external executive search firm. She will succeed Peter Bamford who will retire from the Board at the conclusion of the AGM after six very successful years in the role.

Peter Bamford, Chairman, said: “I’m delighted that Tiffany is to be the next Chair of B&M. I have enjoyed working with her over the last five years and she has demonstrated a clear understanding of B&M and the skills required to lead the Board in the future. 

“It has been a great privilege for me to have worked with two exceptionally talented CEOs leading a business with such a distinctive entrepreneurial culture focused on delivering great products and everyday low prices to its customers. Alex Russo has put in place a great management team and a strong platform for continued growth and profitability. I wish Tiffany and all at B&M, every success in the future.”

Tiffany Hall, Chair Designate, said: “I am delighted to be taking on the Chair role at B&M. Since joining the Board in 2018, I have learnt that B&M is a fantastic business with a laser focus on delivering value to customers. The business is well positioned for future growth, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside our excellent leadership team.”

Alex Russo, Chief Executive, said:  “On behalf of everyone at B&M, I would like to thank Peter for chairing the Group through some of the most uncertain times in recent history and overseeing the transition from the founding CEO to me. He has done this with an unerring view of what is right for all of our stakeholders and I wish to thank him on both a personal and professional basis. I wish him well for the future.”

“Tiffany has a proven record of success in her role as Senior Independent Director and demonstrated strong leadership in her role as Chair of the Remuneration Committee over a number of years. We are delighted to welcome her as the new Chair of B&M and look forward to working more closely with her to drive the continued success of B&M.”

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