B&M sees annual profits double in "exceptional" year

Retailer B&M said its annual profits have more than doubled to £525m thanks to the addition of 43 new shops to its portfolio despite the pandemic.

The core B&M UK business, as an essential retailer, traded throughout the year

Revenue jumped nearly 26 per cent in the year to March 31 and the firm has created 7,200 new jobs in the UK over the year.

B&M's chief executive, Simon Arora, said “The core B&M UK business, as an essential retailer, traded throughout the year and welcomed a number of new shoppers, with colleagues working tirelessly to maintain on-shelf availability and provide a safe shopping environment.”

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Since the financial year ended in late March, trading has been down around 1 per cent compared with the same period last year.

B&M warned that like-for-like revenues are likely to be lower in the current financial year compared with last year’s strong performance.

Mr Arora added: "The last year has been an exceptional one. Our results reflect the speed at which we responded to the challenges presented by Covid-19, and the strength of our execution."

The group reported strong progress in France, despite many stores being closed for up to 10 weeks throughout the year.

Mr Arora said: "I express my sincere thanks to colleagues across the group for all of their efforts and determination.

"Looking ahead, there are many uncertainties as society slowly emerges from lockdown and trading patterns are likely to be unpredictable for much of the year.

"Within our UK business, we will be up against the strong comparatives from last year but we remain confident that the B&M customer proposition, with its modern network of predominantly Out of Town stores and value-led variety offer, will prove highly relevant to the needs of shoppers.

"As such, we are well positioned to support the communities in which we trade, retain the loyalty of new customers, and to continue our store roll-out strategy."