By Michael Susin
B&M European Value Retail has reaffirmed its fiscal 2024 guidance, following positive trading results in the third quarter. In addition, the convenience retailer has announced a special dividend and has revealed plans to open more stores in the U.K.
The FTSE 100 retailer is anticipating adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for fiscal 2024 to range between £620 million and £630 million. This represents an improvement from the previous year's levels of £573 million.
For the "golden quarter," which spans three months ending on December 23 and includes the crucial Christmas trading period, B&M reported revenue of £1.645 billion. This marks an increase from the £1.57 billion reported during the same period last year.
The company's board has decided to declare a special dividend of 20.0 pence per share, matching the amount declared during the previous year.
Looking ahead, B&M has raised its target for store openings in the U.K. from 35 to 45 for the current financial year, which ends in March.
"Our store pipeline is robust, and we plan to open no fewer than 45 B&M U.K. stores in each of the next two financial years. This will drive disciplined cash generation and facilitate growth," stated Chief Executive Alex Russo.
Despite facing inflationary pressures on costs, Russo assured investors that the company will maintain its focus on volume. B&M has not increased its prices over the past two to three years.
Russo added that B&M is expected to achieve positive like-for-like trading in fiscal 2025.
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