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07 Jan 2021 | 07:03

B&M to pay £200m special dividend after sales surge

(Sharecast News) - B&M European Value Retail said revenue increased by more than a fifth in the third quarter and that it would pay a special dividend of £200m. Revenue rose 22.5% to £1.4bn in the 13 weeks to 26 December on a constant currency basis, the FTSE 100 group said in a trading update. Performance was driven by 21.1% like-for-like growth in the UK.

The special dividend of 20p a share will be paid on 29 January and follows an earlier special payout of £250m announced in September. Chief Executive Simom Arora said he would pay 30,000 store and distribution workers an extra week's wages.

The general retailer's sales have boomed during the Covid-19 crisis as its stores remained open as a seller of essential goods during lockdowns. It has also benefited from having shops in retail parks away from town centres, which have been busier than high streets and shopping centres.

B&M said annual adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation would be between £540m and £570m after it decided to pay £80m of business rates. It had previously said earnings would be £600m-£650m excluding any voluntary payment of business rates.

Arora said: "Notwithstanding our status as an essential retailer, with lockdown restrictions in the UK having tightened there remain uncertainties ahead. With our combination of exceptional value and convenient out of town locations, we are confident that our business model will prove highly relevant to the needs of customers in 2021."

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