Discount retailer B&M European Value Retail has named finance chief Alex Russo as the successor to long-time chief executive Simon Arora, who is retiring next year.
"Since joining the group, Alex has made a very positive contribution to the business," commented Peter Bamford, chairman. "He has demonstrated strong leadership skills and a deep appreciation of the B&M culture and business model, making him the outstanding candidate for the role."
The retailer, which sells everything from food to homewares, gardening and do-it-yourself products, warned of lower profit margins this year as customers spend less on discretionary products due to red-hot inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.
B&M reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of £619 million (€726.5 million) for the year ended March 26.
This financial year's core profit is expected to range between £550 million to £600 million, lower than last year but still ahead of pre-pandemic levels.
The group operates over 1,100 stores across the United Kingdom and France.
Share Price Impact
Though B&M performed well during the pandemic its shares are down over a quarter so far this year, hurt by the outlook for consumer spending and April's announcement that Arora would retire after over 17 years at the helm.
Britons are facing a squeeze on their disposable income, with inflation hitting a 40-year peak of 9% in April and projected to rise further.
"However, we have seen before that during such times customers will increasingly seek out value for money, and B&M is ideally placed to serve those needs," Arora said in an earnings statement.
To cushion the blow the government last week announced a £15 billion package of support for households struggling to meet soaring energy bills.