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Gloucestershire Business News

Sales and profits up at B&M

Discount retailer B&M has seen a rise in full-year profits, thanks to a steady sales growth, and strong sales at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

B&M, which has stores in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Lydney, saw sales up by 16.5 per cent at £3.8 billion in the year to 28th March - a 3.2 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to £252 million.

Like-for-like for sales were up by 3.3 per cent for the year, boosted by a 6.6 per cent rise in the fourth quarter, as a result of pre-lockdown stock piling.

B&M opened 36 new stores during the year and plans to open a further 30 this financial year - with the aim of reaching 950 B&M stores in the UK.

With the majority of its products falling into the 'essentials' category, all but 49 of B&M's stores have remained open throughout lockdown.

In response to the coronavirus crisis, B&M made £1 million in cash donations to food banks, gave £2.9 million in discounts to NHS staff and paid its own staff 110% wages to reflect their increased workload and pressure.

Simon Arora, CEO, said: "B&M's value led variety retailing model has proved extremely resilient in the crisis and we have had a good start to the year. Our store and support centre teams have adapted well and at speed. We stand ready to continue to serve the communities in which we trade.

"(There are) greater than usual uncertainties for remainder of the year, given the economic environment and its impact on customers. Difficult to predict social distancing requirements' impact on operating costs and footfall, given the possible reluctance of shoppers to queue in winter months. The social distancing requirements may detract from our ability to serve customers in their usual numbers through peak trading."

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