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Retail

B&M European Value Retail 'Well Stocked' For Peak Trading Period

B&M European Value Retail has said that it has good stock availability heading into the Christmas trading season, having deliberately taken delivery of imported general merchandise earlier than normal.

British retailers are grappling with delays in their international supply chains that are compounded by labour shortages in the UK transport and warehousing networks.

However, B&M, which sells everything from food to homewares, do-it-yourself and gardening products, said supply chains across the group remained robust.

"We have responded decisively to supply chain challenges by leveraging our strong supplier relationships and we have improved in-store execution," said chief executive Simon Arora. "As a consequence, we are fully stocked heading into the Golden Quarter.

Sales Performance

The group reported a 4.6% fall in first-half core earnings, reflecting an exceptional performance in the same period last year when sales boomed during the first pandemic lockdown.

It made adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £282.2 million (€329 million) in the six months to September 25, compared to £295.6 million (€345.4 million) in the same period in 2020.

Revenue increased 1.2% to £2.27 billion (€2.65 billion) and was up 26.8% on a two-year basis.

B&M is paying an interim dividend of 5.0 pence a share, up 16.3%.

Pathway To A 'New Normal'

"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," Arora added.

The group performed well during the pandemic. Its stores were allowed to stay open through multiple UK lockdowns because they sell some food, and its low prices and out-of-town locations chimed with consumers.

Shares in B&M are up 29.4% so far this year.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more Retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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