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B&M to review future of German business

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By Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Fast-growing British discounter B&M European Value Retail <BMEB.L> said on Tuesday it was undertaking a review of its German unit Jawoll to determine the future of the poorly performing business.

The group, a general goods retailer selling anything from furniture to electricals to food, said Jawoll continued to disappoint in its first half to Sept. 29 due to distribution issues and weak sales.

B&M’s overall pretax profit fell 70.5% to 32.2 million pounds ($41.2 million) which included an impairment charge of 59.5 million pounds relating to Jawoll. Group revenue increased 12.4% to 1.76 billion pounds.

The group trades from 645 stores in the UK operating under the B&M brand and 290 stores under the Heron Foods and B&M Express brands. It also has 98 stores in Germany primarily operating under the Jawoll brand and 99 stores in France, trading at Babou.

First half like-for-like sales at the B&M UK stores business rose 3.7%.

The group said the UK had seen “solid” like-for-like sales growth in the third quarter so far.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)