Retail

Discounter B&M Sticks To Outlook, Confident On Christmas

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British discount retailer B&M European Value Retail has kept its financial guidance for this year, saying trading has been good in the first six weeks of the key Christmas quarter, with underlying sales up 2.5% in its main division.

The FTSE-100 group, which sells everything from homewares to toys, do-it-yourself products and food, said on Thursday it still expected core earnings (adjusted EBITDA) for its full 2022-23 year to be in the range of £550 million (€569.1 million) to £600 million (€682.3 million), down from the £619 million (€704.6 million) made in 2021-22.

B&M made core earnings of £232 million (€264.1 million) in the six months to September 24, down 17.9%, on revenue up 1.8% to £2.31 billion (€2.63 billion).

Though the group performed well during the pandemic its shares are down 41% so far this year, hurt by the dip in consumer spending.

Nevertheless, B&M struck a confident tone on Christmas trading.

Sales Momentum

“Sales momentum is good as we enter a difficult period for the economy and consumers," commented Alex Russo, chief executive. "Our value-based approach is winning with existing and new customers, and we will do our very best to help them weather the cost-of-living crisis.

"We are well positioned as we trade through the Golden Quarter and our strategy remains unchanged – a relentless focus on price and product."

Russo expressed confidence that long-term operating margin at the business would be higher than in pre-pandemic times, with the business demonstrating its "ability to deliver operational gearing" during the lockdown period.

"The longer-term outlook remains positive for sustained margin improvement, with cost control, efficiencies and improved processes offsetting cost inflation," he said.

News by Reuters, edited by by ESM – your source for the latest retail news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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