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UK: Discounter B&M expecting annual profit ahead of estimates

Discount Variety Retail Chain B&M (privately owned by the UK investors Simon and Bobby Arora) has forecast that its annual profit will be ahead of estimates, following the discount retailer's decision to take delivery of imported stock earlier than usual.

"Our decision to take receipt of imported Christmas stock early in the season meant we were able to provide customers with great products at great prices," chief executive officer Simon Arora said. "The consistency of performance in the core B&M UK business reflects the growing appeal of our stores as a destination visit for seasonal products, as well as the strength of our supply chain."

Supply Chain Challenges

UK retailers are currently grappling with global supply chain bottlenecks, domestic labour shortages and stricter restrictions during the holidays to tackle a surge in COVID-19 infections due to the Omicron variant. Commenting on this, Arora added, "Although the pandemic continues to create challenges for retailers and consumers alike, our relentless focus on value-for-money remains undiminished. Despite ongoing supply chain disruption, inflationary pressures and uncertainty surrounding possible COVID-related restrictions, we remain confident in B&M’s prospects for 2022.”

B&M, which sells everything from food to gardening and DIY products, said it now expects group adjusted core earnings for the 12 months ending March between £605 million (US$868 million) and £625 million (US$901 million), compared with a company-compiled estimate of £578 million (US$830 million).

Third-Quarter Performance

The company recorded third-quarter group revenue growth of 0.1% on a constant currency basis compared with last year. Total B&M UK fascia revenue was down 2.5% on the previous year, it added, while like-for-like revenue was down 6.2% on a one year basis and up 14.0% on a two year basis for the quarter. It opened nine new B&M stores in the UK in Q3, while also closing two stores. A further 13 new stores are expected to open by the end of the year.

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