Belfast Telegraph

B&M aims to double number of its stores

By Graeme Evans

Discount retailer B&M, which has nine stores in Northern Ireland, is to create 2,500 new jobs in its current financial year after "good momentum" in sales and profits.

The chain, which was set up in 1978 and is now among the UK's biggest retailers after opening its 400th store last month, believes it has the opportunity to more than double in size to an estate of 850 UK shops.

Liverpool-based B&M has boosted its fortunes in recent years by branching out into clothes, pet food and toiletries, as well as through the opening of stores away from its northern heartland.

In its first set of results since joining the London stock market in the summer, revenues increased by 29.7% to £739.8m in the six months to September 27, while on a like-for-like basis the UK sales figure rose 4.8%.

Underlying earnings lifted 34% to £73m, but higher costs linked to the flotation and a recent refinancing caused a bottom-line loss of £16.4m.

The company has more than 16,000 staff.

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