B&M European Value sales jump 12% in Q3
B&M European Value Retail posted a jump in third-quarter sales on Thursday as it hailed a "pleasing finish" to the quarter.
In an update for the 13 weeks to 29 December 2018, the company said group sales revenue rose 12.1% at constant and actual currency, to £1.09bn.
B&M UK sales revenue in the 13-week period was up 4.5% to £874.5m, with LFL sales down 1.6% against a strong prior year comparable of 3.9% growth.
B&M said it had a "pleasing finish" to the quarter, with December B&M UK LFL sales up 1.2% following a difficult November.
Positive sales momentum has continued into January, the group said, adding that careful control of inventory has meant that stocks for the January 2019 end of season sale period are below the levels of last year, which should provide further support to the margin over the fourth quarter.
B&M opened 20 new stores in the quarter and said it continues to see attractive returns from the new store opening programme. It is on track to open 56 gross new stores in FY19.
Overall revenues at Heron Foods were up 12.6% in the quarter to £89.9m, while sales at Jawoll increased by 4.9% to £55.3m and the Babou stores business, which it bought last October, contributed £67.3m of revenues in the quarter.
Chief executive Simon Arora said: "Despite the broader economic uncertainty over the last quarter, B&M is on track to deliver a record year for both sales and earnings, representing our fourteenth consecutive year of profit growth.
"The business' ability to manage profitability through uncertain trading conditions is testament to the resilience of the business model and the strong operational controls we have in place. We continue to open new stores and win market share when other retailers are retrenching."
At 0820 GMT, the shares were down 0.1% to 310.30p.