BILLIONAIRE Simon Arora and family will receive a fat bonus as B&M Bargains has announced a special dividend of 20p per share to shareholders after bumper sales.
Arora and family are the biggest shareholders in the firm. According to a report in The Daily Mail, he will get £30million just two months after funnelling £44m in dividends to his offshore family trust.
The budget retailer will also share some of the profits with staff, and has agreed to pay 30,000 workers an extra week’s wages.
B&M benefitted from its ‘essential’ retail status as sales surged during the second national lockdown and subsequent tier regime, the report said.
Sales at B&M Bargains across the UK in the 13 weeks to December 26 soared 26.6 per cent to £1.4 billion. Its sales in the six months to September 26 jumped 25.3 per cent to £2.2billion, up from £1.7billion a year ago, and pre-tax profits soared 122.4 per cent to £235.6million.
The company opened 18 new stores and closed two during the period, creating 500 new jobs. Currently, it has 673 stores in the UK.
“Our trading performance is testament to the hard work and commitment of all our colleagues, to whom I express my sincere thanks,” Arora told The Daily Mail.
“The safety and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues has remained our priority during these unprecedented times, whilst we have worked hard to provide customers with the everyday essentials they need.”
Arora bought B&M – then a small, loss-making chain of stores – in 2005 with his brother Bobby.
Together the Aroras turned the budget retailer into a discount giant, with hundreds of stores across the UK and Germany and surging ahead of its rivals on the FTSE 100 last year as it continued to operate under its ‘essential’ status.
The brothers grew up in Manchester, after their father came to the UK from India in the late 1960s – reportedly with just£10 in his pocket.
The Arora brothers have become multi-millionaires, with an estimated fortune of £2.1b. The family has offloaded £910m of shares since they took the company public in 2014.
Arora is married to Shalni Arora, a co-founder of bio-tech business DxS and supporter of the British Asian Trust. They have two daughters.