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Retail

Discount Retailer B&M's Holiday Sales Soar, To Pay Special Dividend

British discount retailer B&M reported on Thursday a 22.5% jump in holiday quarter sales and announced a special dividend, as it benefited from low prices and stores that remained open during lockdowns.

The retailer's out-of-town stores have struck a chord with consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic and its stores have been allowed to stay open through the restrictions because they also sell food.

Third-quarter sales rose to £1.40 billion, from £1.14 billion a year earlier.

The retailer, however, flagged uncertainties ahead as Britain headed into a fresh lockdown to fight a new variant of the novel coronavirus.

Quarterly Sales

B&M lowered its adjusted core profit forecast to a range of £540 million to £570 million for the year ending March 27, after it let go of £80 million ($109 million) of property tax relief offered by the UK government in early December.

The move followed a similar decision by major supermarket groups after criticism from lawmakers and media for paying dividends while receiving the relief.

B&M said it would pay a special dividend of 20 pence per share, worth about £200 million in total, towards the end of this month.

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

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