The Co-operative Group has announced a 3.2% increase in like-for-like sales in its convenience estate for the year ending 3 January 2015.

The overall Food business reported a 0.4% rise in like-for-like sales, with underlying profits up 1.5% to £251m.

Under the True North strategy, the group acquired 82 new convenience stores and refurbished more than 700 stores last year. Investment in own brand continued, with “over 170” awards for quality won during the year.

The Food group said it expected the market to remain competitive, but would aim to acquire 100 new convenience stores over the year.

Richard Pennycock, chief executive of the Co-operative Group, said: “We made solid progress in 2014 as we successfully concluded the rescue phase of our turnaround.

“The hard work of rebuilding The Co-operative Group for the next generation, and restoring it to its rightful place at the heart of communities up and down the UK, is now underway.”