McColl's fourth quarter sales boosted by new store acquisitions
However, like-for-like sales edged down 1% which the group said reflected a “slight weakening” of trading conditions.
In the 14 weeks to the end of November, McColl’s accelerated the pace of store acquisitions to 21 new premium convenience stores. It also converted nine newsagents to its food and wine format.
McColl's now has a total of 799 convenience stores which make up 61% of the group's total store base of 1,315. The group said it on track to achieve its target of 1,000 convenience stores by the end of 2016.
For the full year, total group sales grew by 4.2% and like-for-like sales were ahead by 0.7%. McColl’s said it expects results to be broadly in line with expectations for the full year to mark a significant improvement on the previous year.
James Lancaster, McColl's chief executive, said: "I am pleased with our overall progress during the year. In line with the strategy we set out at IPO, we have continued our expansion into convenience through store, product and service development.
“Customers are responding well to our improved convenience offer, but with disposable income under continued pressure, the consumer outlook remains challenging. Despite these tough conditions we expect the 2014 results to be broadly in line with expectations."
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