B&M H1 revenue tops £2.2bn, but profit falls

Shares of B&M European Value Retail fell almost 5% on Thursday as it reported that like-for-like sales at its core UK business were down 8.9% year on year in the first six weeks of its third quarter “with the prior year six week period seeing highly elevated sales due to unusually early Christmas trading.”

B&M said its first-half adjusted profit before tax fell 6.2% to £238 million in the 26 weeks to September 25 and revenue rose 1.2% to £2.27 billion, with B&M UK’s like-for-like sales down 5%.

FTSE 100 constituent B&M is based in Liverpool and registered in Luxembourg — but its shares trade in London where they fell almost 5% to around £6.14 to give the firm a current stock market value of about £6 billion.

Ordinary half year dividend increased 16.3% to 5p per share.

B&M reported “good stock availability heading into peak trading having deliberately taken delivery of imported general merchandise earlier than normal, with supply chains across the group remaining robust.”

B&M CEO Simon Arora said: “The group has performed strongly throughout the first half of our financial year, with customers continuing to be drawn to our value for money offer. 

We have responded decisively to supply chain challenges by leveraging our strong supplier relationships and we have improved in-store execution. 

“As a consequence, we are fully stocked heading into the Golden Quarter, with stores already showcasing our excellent Christmas ranges …

Although the pathway to a ‘new normal’ remains uncertain and the industry faces a number of supply and inflationary pressures as we enter the second half of the financial year, we are very confident that the B&M Group is well positioned to navigate these and will continue to be successful both in the UK and in France.”