LONDON (Reuters) - B&M European Value Retail (BMEB.L), the fast-growing British discount chain, reported a 15 percent rise in first-half core earnings and said it expected to meet expectations for the full year as it continued an aggressive store opening programme.
The company, chaired by former Tesco boss Terry Leahy, said on Tuesday it was on track to open 69 new stores in its 2016-17 year — 50 in the UK and 19 in Germany, where it trades as Jawoll.
Some 20 net new stores were opened in its first half in the UK, including its 500th store. A net ten were opened in Germany.
Liverpool, north west England-based B&M, which trades as B&M Bargains and B&M Homestore, made adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 99.2 million pounds ($123.9 million) in the six months to Sept. 24, on group revenue up 18.9 percent to 1.11 billion pounds.
It increased its interim dividend by 18.8 percent to 1.9 pence.
“We are mindful of the current economic uncertainties in the UK but given the strength of our retail model and with the full benefits now flowing from the step change investments we made last year ... we are confident of meeting expectations during the remainder of this year,” said Chief Executive Simon Arora.
Analysts are on average forecasting a 2016-17 EBITDA of 230 million pounds, according to Reuters data, up from 203 million pounds in 2015-16.
Shares in B&M, down 13 percent so far this year, closed on Monday at 239.1 pence, valuing the business at 2.4 billion pounds.
($1 = 0.8008 pounds)
Reporting by James Davey, editing by Louise Heavens