Variety discount retailer B&M's Q3 results (29th September 2019 to 28th December 2019) show positive growth across the majority of its business, despite a slower than expected run-up to the festive season.
Revenue growth for all areas of the business except Jawoll
- Group +9.3% to £1,190.9m
- B&M UK +8.8% to £957.4m
- Heron Foods +6.2% to £95.6m
- France Babou +29.3% (26.1% relates to the non-comparable period of last year) to £85.0m
- Germany Jawoll -1.5% to £53.0m
B&M UK minimal like-for-like growth
B&M UK's positive results were driven by new store openings, with 12 net openings in the quarter. Performance was slower than anticipated in the run-up to Christmas, with like-for-like growth at only +0.3%.
This was a slowdown from the previous quarter, where like-for-like sales grew 3.7%. Growth was held back by disappointing sales across the toys and seasonal confectionery categories. B&M also said it was negatively affected by;
"A challenging broader retail market with reduced shopper footfall and political uncertainty, also our decision not to engage in early discounting activity."
Disappointing sales has been the common theme to the golden quarter with GB market data from Kantar showing sales grew by just 0.2% in the 12 weeks to December 29th. The British Retail Consortium Monitor shows UK retail sales fell by 0.9% over the two months of November and December combined, ending a year in which overall sales fell for the first time ever in the life of the BRC measure.
B&M did however say it was able to exit the period with normal seasonal inventory levels and that it delivered its biggest ever golden quarter. The retailer also said the new store openings have on the whole performed better than expected. Its financial year to date results were more positive, with like-for-like sales +2.3%.
Mixed performance from international
Progress continued at French Babou, with the introduction of new product ranges directly sourced from B&M.
Jawoll is still under a strategic review, which began in November. It was the only area of the business to not see positive revenue growth.
Looking ahead to a positive 2020
B&M has reported a positive start to the year and says;
"We look forward to 2020 with confidence."
It plans on opening 6 new stores in Q4 and has a healthy pipeline for the next financial year.
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