B&M scores record sales of £5.5bn after discount retailer swooped on closing Wilko stores

  • B&M sells everything from food to stationery, furniture and gardening tools
  • The FTSE 100 company revealed sales increased by around £500m to £5.5bn

B&M scored record annual turnover last year thanks to store openings and consumers continuing to turn to discount retailers amid cost-of-living pressures.

The FTSE 100 company, which sells everything from food to stationery, furniture and gardening equipment, revealed sales increased by around £500million to £5.5billion in the year ending 30 March.

UK revenues grew by 8.5 per cent to £4.4billion, which B&M credited to customers buying products in greater volumes, strong like-for-like trade and dozens of new outlet launches.

Good result: B&M revealed annual sales increased by around £500million to £5.5billion

It opened 47 new shops during the period, with about half of these launching in the fourth quarter and many being former Wilko sites.

B&M agreed to acquire 51 Wilko stores last September after the homeware chain fell into administration following years of heavy losses and declining turnover.

The Liverpool-based group plans to open at least 90 establishments across Britain in the coming two fiscal years, part of a long-term goal of having at least 1,200 UK shops.

Outside the UK, B&M’s sales in France soared by 19.2 per cent to £514million, while they expanded by 15.3 per cent to £560million at its Heron Foods grocery business.

Consequently, the firm’s total pre-tax profits grew by 14.1 per cent to £498million, and its adjusted earnings before nasties surpassed its ‘lockdown peak’ to hit £629million.

Alex Russo, chief executive of B&M, said: ‘We have demonstrated strong volume-led momentum in our business throughout our trading history, and that has continued, driving our profits ahead of both pandemic and pre-pandemic benchmarks.

‘Despite the more challenging comparatives, with continued new store openings and a laser focus on low prices and best-in-class retail standards, we remain confident in our outlook for cash generation and profit growth.’

B&M’s annual results are set to be the last before its chairman, Peter Bamford, retires following six years at the business.

During his tenure, the group enjoyed a significant Covid-induced bump in sales because its outlets were allowed to stay open.

Although trade slowed as lockdown restrictions were lifted, it remained healthy thanks to more Britons searching for bargains amid worsening inflationary pressures caused largely by rising oil and gas prices.

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said price hikes are ‘clearly weighing on households and with borrowing costs still high, many shoppers are on tight budgets and want to trim costs wherever they can.’

B&M European Value Retail shares were 4.8 per cent lower at 520p on Wednesday morning, meaning they have dropped by 14 per cent in the past six months.

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