The retailer has reported a sales rise during the Christmas quarter, resulting in the payment of a special dividend to B&M shareholders.
B&M said comparable sales rose +6.4% in its key Christmas quarter, as shoppers turned to value options to help them manage the cost-of-living crisis.
Reflecting strong momentum during the 13-week period to December 24th, the company said this meant it would be able to pay a special dividend of around £200m in February.
B&M, which sells a wide range of products that includes toys, also reported that strong demand for non-grocery products helped increase margins. The latest results include an increase of +12% in quarterly revenue to £1.56b.
For the year to the end of March, the retailer said it expected annual core earnings of between £560m to £580m, higher than the current analyst consensus forecast of £557m. This reflects the success of discount retailers compared to more mainstream outlets during periods of economic recession, due to lower cost bases and shoppers becoming more price sensitive.
“Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, we will continue to work hard to help both existing and new customers manage the cost-of-living crisis,” commented B&M chief executive Alex Russo in a statement. Alex was promoted to the position of chief executive from his previous role as chief financial officer earlier this year, when outgoing CEO Simon Arora announced his intention to step down.
In November 22, Alex Russo reassured the market that momentum was encouraging, although acknowledging ‘a difficult period for the economy and consumers’. “We are well positioned as we trade through the Golden Quarter and our strategy remains unchanged – a relentless focus on price and product,” he said.
B&M currently has 1,100 stores in Britain and France. The business has a market capitalisation of £4.4b.