AF Blakemore has reported “good, solid” results for the 2016-2017 financial year.

The business achieved sales of almost £1.3bn, representing a 1.4% increase in like-for-like sales.

The company-owned Spar estate and the independent stores it distributes to performed well, as it continues to focus on the demand for local convenience shopping and develop its food to go offering, the group said in a statement.

AF Blakemore chairman Peter Blakemore said: “I am pleased to report that the company produced another good solid result in the year to 30 April 2017, with the food retail and wholesale markets experiencing a period of intense change and consolidation.

“Customer spending patterns are rapidly changing and we are well positioned to serve the growing interest in local community retailing, as consumers shop more frequently for smaller quantities of food for immediate or same day consumption.

“We have placed great emphasis on our store operations to meet these growing trends through changing our product range and developing our food-for-now and prepared food-to-go offering.”

Like-for-like profits were slightly down on the last finacial year, at £7.4m compared with £7.5m. Net assets grew to £88.7m, an increase of 9.8%.

Blakemore added: “In our centenary year, we have continued to demonstrate our commitment to developing a sustainable business for the future by investing £19.2m in store and business improvement, with a further £27.5m earmarked for the year ahead.

“This focus upon future innovation includes a £4m investment in our IT infrastructure with the development of new CRM, Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer digital platforms.”