B&M beats high street blues to post sales rise

Discount retailer B&M has reassured investors that any negative customer impact being felt on the high street is not filtering through to its stores, reporting a 21.4 per cent boost in sales.

B&M recorded 'strong' sales growth in the second quarter. Picture: Scott Louden
B&M recorded 'strong' sales growth in the second quarter. Picture: Scott Louden

Revenues in the 13 weeks to 29 June hit £967.7 million, with UK B&M sales up 13.8 per cent thanks to the opening of 12 new stores. The company's convenience store chain, Heron Foods, also performed well, but its German business Jawoll slipped due to warehouse problems.

B&M added it remains on track to open 45 stores and relocate a further five.

Bosses also expect to open between 15 and 20 Heron Foods stores in the financial year, after sales during the period rose 8.1 per cent to £93.1m, with "solid" like-for-like sales growth.

The company's French business, Babou, generated £72.6m in the quarter, although bosses said this was despite heavy discounting to shift extra stock as the division switches to products sourced via B&M's supply chain.

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Chief executive Simon Arora said: "The group has made a solid start and we are on track with our plans for the year as a whole, with a strong performance in the B&M UK business and continued implementation of our planned change programmes in Germany and France, with a continued focus on resolving the warehousing and logistics challenges in Jawoll.

"B&M had its third consecutive record Easter trading period with sales of seasonal products and Homewares performing particularly well and Heron Foods has traded solidly too.

"The transitional changes to the product offers in Jawoll and Babou are now taking shape, as we apply the B&M model to those businesses. We look forward to the remainder of the year with confidence."