Belfast Telegraph

Solid growth for B&M as revenue at group climbs by 21.4% in first quarter

Confidence: Simon Arora
Confidence: Simon Arora

By Alys Key

Bargain chain B&M, which has around 20 stores in Northern Ireland, has reported solid growth in the first quarter despite tough competition from last year's bumper summer.

It comes as the company announced it will reopen a store in The Park Centre, west Belfast, on September 5 after relocating to the former Dunnes unit from a smaller shop.

Group revenue in the three months to June 29 was up 21.4%, with B&M UK climbing 13.8%.

Like-for-like growth in the core UK business was 3.9%, compared to 1.6% this time last year.

German business Jawoll also posted improved numbers, with revenue rising 1.9% to £63.1m, while French division Babou reported revenue of £72.6m. Store openings continued apace, with six new Heron Foods stores and 12 B&M outlets in the UK.

Chief executive Simon Arora said: "B&M had its third consecutive record Easter trading period, with sales of seasonal products and homewares performing particularly well, and Heron Foods has traded solidly too.

"The transitional changes to the product offers in Jawoll and Babou are now taking shape, as we apply the B&M model to those businesses. We look forward to the remainder of the year with confidence."

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Retailers have been struggling to measure up to last year's Easter and summer performances, when sporting events, a royal wedding and the hot weather all boosted sales. But B&M said its performance had been "strong" and put it on track to deliver on its annual plans.

Analysts at Peel Hunt said 3% underlying like-for-like growth at core B&M was "creditable".

Belfast Telegraph