UK discounter B&M says CEO Arora to retire next year

LONDON, April 22 (Reuters) - British discount retailer B&M (BMEB.L) said on Friday CEO Simon Arora plans to retire in 12 months' time after more than 17 years leading the business.

The FTSE 100-listed firm said a succession process, led by Chairman Peter Bamford, will consider both internal and external candidates.

B&M was a regional chain of 21 stores when it was acquired by Simon and Bobby Arora in December 2004. It has since grown into a group of more than 1,100 stores across the United Kingdom and France with a market capitalisation of 5.5 billion pounds ($7.2 billion).

"Having firmly established a strong, entrepreneurial culture and built a talented and experienced senior management team, Simon wishes to plan for retirement," B&M said.

The group, the full name of which is B&M European Value Retail, said Bobby Arora, the group's trading director, intends to remain with the business in his current role.

($1 = 0.7682 pounds)

Reporting by James Davey; editing by Paul Sandle and Jason Neely

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