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UK: B&M posts flat full year profits

Discount Variety Retail Chain B&M (listed on LON: BME) has seen its full year revenues decline by 2.7% year-on-year to £4.67 billion (US$ 5.9 billion), but sales were up 22.5% when compared to pre-pandemic levels two years ago.

In the year to 26 March, the retailer’s group statutory pre-tax profit remained flat at £525 million (US$ 661 million).

While B&M UK fascia revenue decreased by 4.1% year-on-year, driven by a one-year like-for-like revenue decline of 9%, like-for-like revenues at the fascias were 13% up on a two year basis due to the retention of new customers following the pandemic.

B&M opened 34 new stores in the year and closed or relocated 14.

Simon Arora, B&M chief executive, said: “I am very pleased with the results we have delivered. The strength and resilience of our business model has enabled us to execute our plans well and continue offering compelling value for money to customers. As a result, we have sustained the step up in sales and profit compared to pre-pandemic levels.”

Looking ahead, the company said it was difficult to accurately predict the impact of rising inflation on product cost prices and consumer spending, and the extent of further “normalisation” in customer behaviour following the pandemic.

Arora added: “The retail industry is facing inflationary pressures whilst our customers are having to cope with a significant increase in the cost of living, making spending behaviour in the year ahead difficult to predict.

“However, we have seen before that during such times customers will increasingly seek out value for money, and B&M is ideally placed to serve those needs. As such, we are well positioned to support the communities in which we trade and continue our long-term growth strategy.”

B&M has also announced that Alex Russo will succeed Arora as chief executive when the latter retires. Russo is currently working as the group’s chief financial officer.

Prior to joining B&M in 2020, he held senior leadership positions at the likes of Asda, Tesco and Kingfisher. B&M said a process to appoint his successor has already begun.

Peter Bamford, B&M chairman, said: “ I am delighted to announce Alex Russo as successor to Simon Arora as CEO of B&M. Since joining the Group, Alex has made a very positive contribution to the business. He has demonstrated strong leadership skills and a deep appreciation of the B&M culture and business model, making him the outstanding candidate for the role.”

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