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Coronavirus

UK Retailer B&M Says Better Placed Than Most To Cope With COVID-19

British discount retailer B&M reported a 3.2% increase in full year profit and said it was better positioned and more resilient than most to deal with the COVID-19 world.

The group, which sells everything from furniture to electricals to food, said on Thursday its core strength in everyday essentials, a well-invested infrastructure, strong value credentials, and a modern and convenient store network with continuing opportunities in both the United Kingdom and France meant it was still well placed to grow.

B&M made a pretax profit of £252 million (€281 million) in the year to March 28, on revenue up 16.5% to £3.8 billion (€4.24 billion). Its full year dividend increased 6.6% to 8.1 pence.

Strong Trading

The group, whose stores have remained open through the UK lockdown, has traded strongly since the year-end.

Last month it said exceptionally strong demand for do-it-yourself (DIY) and gardening products drove a 22.7% jump in underlying UK sales over the first eight weeks of its 2020-21 year.

The group, whose full name is B&M European Value Retail, said on Thursday that whilst trading continued to be strong in more recent weeks, the growth rate was unlikely to be sustained as gardening ranges had sold through and stock in some other categories was now lower than normal for this time of year.

Shares in B&M, up 17% over the last year, closed Wednesday at 379.9 pence, valuing the business at £3.8 billion.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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