B&M European Value Retail (BME) has revealed total sales growth of 12.1 per cent over its third quarter - enough to send the shares up in early trading. Like-for-like sales across the UK dipped 1.5 per cent, although this was to be expected given last year’s tough comparative figure and a difficult November for all retailers. Pleasingly, things improved in December, with like-for-like sales across the UK rising by 1.2 per cent, and cash gross margins up 3.2 per cent. Strong control over inventory levels likely gave rise to a 30 basis point improvement in gross margins by the end of the period too. As far as New Year is concerned, January is said to have seen good sales momentum. We remain buyers.