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B&M recruits new chairman

Published: 14 November 2017 - Sue Deane

B&M has recruited a new chairman to succeed Sir Terry Leahy as the discount retailer posted an "excellent" first-half performance with strong growth in revenues, EBITDA and pre-tax profits.

The company has appointed Peter Bamford as a non-executive director of one of the company's subsidiaries from January 1, then as non-executive chairman with effect from March 1, 2018.

Mr Bamford is chairman of listed fashion retailer SuperGroup and deputy chairman and senior independent director of Spire Healthcare Group. He has worked with Six Degrees Holdings, Vodafone Group, WH Smith, Tesco and Kingfisher.

Sir Terry Leahy will retire from the board on March 1 after five years in the role.

"I'm looking forward to taking on the chairmanship role at B&M, working alongside the strong board and executive team and continuing with the growth strategy which has delivered significant shareholder value since IPO,” said Mr Bamford. “I believe the business has a long runway of further growth ahead for its unique, disruptive model and I'm delighted that I will be so closely involved in the next stage of B&M's development."

Sir Terry Leahy said: "I'm delighted that Peter, with his strong track record and relevant experience, including in the retailing sector, is to be the next chairman of B&M. It has been a great privilege to have been part of one of the most exciting emerging retail growth stories of the past decade in an industry undergoing profound structural change. In particular, it has been a real pleasure to work with such a talented, innovative management team. The business is very well-positioned for continued growth and success in the future."

Meanwhile, B&M has reported its interim results for the 26 weeks to 23 September 2017. Group revenues increased by 22% to £1.4bn while group adjusted EBITDA climbed by 20% to £116.1m and pre-tax profits grew by 18% to £86.8m.

In August B&M acquired 251-store discount convenience retailer Heron Foods. German business Jawoll opened seven new stores in the period covered by these results.

Chief executive Simon Arora said: "B&M continues to prosper in a challenging retail environment and our teams remain wholly focused on helping our customers spend less during uncertain times.

"Our UK business continues to go from strength to strength, with new and like-for-like stores performing exceptionally well and the acquisition of Heron has added another leg of growth to the group. We have also taken steps to enable us to push on with expanding our Jawoll business.”

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