McColl's total sales up but like-for-likes fall in third quarter
Newsagent and convenience chain McColls has reported that total sales rose by 3% in its third quarter although like-for-like sales declined by 2.3%.
McColl’s said the increase in total sales in the 13 weeks to 30 August was driven by new store acquisitions.
Like-for-like sales held up better in the group’s food and wine and premium convenience stores than in standard convenience stores and newsagents, which McColl's said reflected the group's strategy. In the year to date, like-for-like sales in premium convenience and food and wine stores have edged down 0.4% while those in standard convenience and newsagents have dropped by 4.6%.
McColl’s chief executive James Lancaster said: "We have made further solid progress in the third quarter in what continues to be a challenging time for the sector. Whilst like-for-like sales were down overall, our premium and food and wine convenience stores continued to outperform our newsagents and standard convenience stores.”
In line with its plans for the quarter, the group acquired 21 stores, including a group of six, and converted 10 newsagents to its food and wine format. In the year to date, McColl's has acquired 46 stores and created 26 food and wine stores.
McColl’s said it has maintained a strong sales performance in its food to go category following the introduction of coffee and snacking modules to 119 stores in the first half of the financial year.
The group now has a total of 866 convenience stores which account for 64% of the group's total store base of 1,346. The group said it is on track to achieve its target of 1,000 convenience stores by the end of 2016.
Lancaster added: “We have made excellent progress on acquisitions and store developments, and we now have 500 post offices. We have also taken advantage of improvements in the credit markets since flotation and I am delighted with the revision to the terms of our banking facilities which will result in lower interest costs. We remain on track to achieve results in line with the board's expectations for the full year."
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