Variety retailer B&M European Value Retail has delivered upbeat first quarter results, with rapid sales growth in both the UK and Germany. Group revenues rose by an impressive 18.3% over the period (13 weeks to June 24th in the UK and 13 weeks to June 30th in Germany) or +17.2% on a constant currency basis.
Grocery and seasonal goods drive UK growth
In the UK, B&M's revenues grew by 17.8% and LFL sales increased 7.3%, up from 0.0% in the same period last year. Strong grocery sales played an important part in lifting growth as B&M stepped up its offer, through a stronger branded presence and improved chilled ranges. Results also benefited from the late timing of Easter and from favourable weather which lifted sales in outdoor categories, particularly gardening and outdoor living. Nine new stores opened during the quarter putting B&M on track to reach its target of newly raised long term target of at least 950 UK stores.
Further rapid expansion in Germany
At Jawoll, B&M's smaller German business, sales grew by 23.5%, a slight beat to the same period last year. Four stores opened during the period putting the business on course to reach its target of 90 stores by the end of the financial year.
Increasing demand from value seekers in uncertain times
Commenting on progress, B&M chief executive, Simon Arora, said:"This quarter's like-for like growth represents B&M's strongest First Quarter for 3 years. It's driven by customers, wherever they live throughout the regions, becoming ever more receptive to the outstanding value delivered by B&M's unique business model in relation to the things they buy regularly for their homes and families. In these uncertain times, and with inflation returning to the UK market, more and more shoppers are actively seeking out value in our stores and that means our business is strongly positioned to do well and continue its rapid growth."