Belfast Telegraph

7.2% sales growth in record Christmas for B&M

Discount retailer B&M has said a record Christmas helped it notch up a big rise in sales in the third quarter as it flagged a period of "uncertainty" for consumers.

B&M said like-for-like sales grew 7.2% in the three months to December 24, adding that it saw more than 5.5 million shoppers come through its doors in a single week during the period.

Revenue rose over 20% to £789.1 million and the group said it is confident B&M will meet full year profit expectations.

The company put the performance down to strong festive sales and "improved in-store standards" for customers.

Boss Simon Arora said: "We have once again demonstrated the strength, relative appeal and popularity of our model at a time of uncertainty for consumers generally and continuing structural change in the retailing sector.

"We have delivered our best ever Christmas trading and served over 5.5 million customers in a single week in the UK alone as we continue to gain market share."

The company warned in November that shoppers would have to stomach rising prices in 2017 as the slump in sterling hits import costs.

The firm shielded customers from a price jump last year after hedging against currency swings, but said it will have to pass on cost rises from the spring.

B&M opened 14 stores in the quarter and trades from 533 in the UK. In Germany, its Jawoll brand operates 73 stores.