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Retail employer B&M has paid back in full the money it received as part of the government’s employee furlough scheme as financial support during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

In April 2020, the organisation temporarily closed 49 of its stores and made use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to furlough employees affected by these closures. The organisation has seen a 29.5% increase in revenue over the last six months. Consequently, it has returned the £3.7 million to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), provided that there are no major financial-related impacts during the winter months.

At the same time of store closures, B&M has given employees a 10% increase to their wages to recognise them for their efforts during the pandemic. The employer also confirmed that it does not plan to make use of the government job retention bonus, or the most recently announced job support scheme.

Simon Arora, chief executive at B&M, said: “The safety of our employees and customers remains paramount. Our store and support centre staff have adapted well, at speed and we have created over 1,800 new jobs. We stand ready to continue serving the communities in which we trade as the health crisis continues.

“Our longer-term strategy is unchanged; we remain in a strong position to continue to grow profitably in the UK and develop the proposition in France once the disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has passed.”

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