July 24, 2019 / 6:25 AM / 4 months ago

B&M bucks subdued market with first-quarter growth

LONDON (Reuters) - Fast-growing British discounter B&M European Value Retail (BMEB.L) bucked a subdued market with an increase in first-quarter sales, keeping the group’s full-year growth plans on track.

In contrast to a host of UK retailers who are closing stores due to rising costs and the shift to internet sales, the group opened 12 new B&M fascia stores during the quarter and is on track for 45 net new stores in the year as a whole.

Its Heron Foods chain also opened six new stores in the period.

“We have had a solid start to the financial year and we remain confident about the group’s outlook and continued profit growth as the year progresses,” B&M said.

B&M, a general goods retailer selling anything from furniture to electricals to food, on Wednesday said group revenue rose 21.4% on a constant currency basis to 967.7 million pounds in the March 31 to June 29 period.

In the core B&M UK business revenue rose 13.8%, with like-for-like growth of 3.9%.

The group trades from about 632 B&M branded stores and 287 stores under the Heron Foods and B&M Express brands in Britain as well as the Jawoll chain in Germany and Babou brand in France.

Jawoll’s revenue increased 1.9% to 63.1 million pounds in the quarter, while Babou’s revenue was 72.6 million pounds.

Shares in B&M were up 1% at 0712 GMT, taking gains for the year to 28% and valuing the business at about 3.6 billion pounds.

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by David Goodman and Jan Harvey

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