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.
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.