Multi-price value retailer B&M has reported a strong sales uplift in its latest trading update.
News store openings drive growth
UK sales for the 13 weeks to December 26th were up 24.4%, boosted by B&M's ambitious store opening programme that saw 15 stores open. These took store openings for the year to date to a net 62 stores and brought its total UK estate to 487 stores. Like-for-like sales however suffered a setback as mild winter temperatures took their toll on cold weather products, and previously reported lower than normal service levels at B&M's two distribution centres impacted. For the quarter as a whole LFLs were -0.7% (down from +4.5% in 2014) though they were positive for the key Christmas period.
A resilient performance
Commenting on trading CEO Simon Arora said "I'm delighted to report a record Christmas season for B&M, once again demonstrating the popularity of our model, despite a challenging trading period for the whole retailing industry in the UK. At our Christmas peak, we served over four million customers in a single week and we continue to gain market share. The business has delivered a resilient performance through peak trading despite the operational challenges of commissioning two large new distribution centres so late in the year."
Expansion in Germany
In Germany, B&M's Jawoll's business saw a 7.8% increase in revenues, though due to exchange rate movements, this translated into a 2.1% decline on a sterling basis. In a mark of confidence in the opportunities Germany offers, B&M now plans to open 10 new stores in 2016/17 in the country, supported by an extension to its distribution centre.
For more on the latest developments in the discount sector, visit UK discount: Five opportunities driving growth.