Value retailer delivers strong half year as sales rise

Value retailer B&M has reported a strong performance in its half year with sales and profit increasing.

According to its interim results for the 26 weeks to 23 September 2023, total sales rose 10.4% to £2.5bn, with group adjusted EBITDA resulting at £269m, up 16.1%.

In the B&M UK fascia business, total revenues increased by 8.1% to £2,045m (H1 FY23: £1,892m), with LFL3 revenues up 6.2%.

“We started well in Q1, with LFL sales growth of 9.2%. LFL growth slowed in Q2 to 3.1% following the strong start and hindered by the unseasonal weather over the summer,” the group said. “Our LFL growth reflects a strong increase in customer transaction numbers and an increased basket value. Our balanced sales mix between FMCG and General Merchandise remains intact and in line with our expectations.”

During the period, the group opened 13 gross new B&M UK stores, a net increase of five stores, with total sales area outgrowing growth in store numbers. “We expect to open not less than 35 stores this financial period, and not less than 45 stores in each of the next two years.

“The agreement to acquire up to 51 ex-Wilko stores is a significant step which underpins our opening programme. Over the next three years we expect to open not less than 125 new B&M stores in the UK, adding up to 20% to our sales area.

“In the first six weeks of the Golden Quarter, B&M UK LFL growth has been 1.6%. Momentum has been particularly strong in the last three weeks, with LFL exit growth of 4.5%. The Group is trading against tough comparatives making this a pleasing result against an uncertain and ever-changing economic background.

“This volatile background makes forecasting for the full year difficult. However, given the strong first half results and positive momentum, the Group’s FY24 adjusted EBITDA guidance is increased to a range of £620m – £630m, materially higher than FY23 performance (£573m).”

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