Conviviality Retail, owner of the Bargain Booze fascia, has announced a 1.7% decline in like-for-like first half sales.

The group said total sales increased by 2.5% and franchisee margins rose 1.8% in the 26 weeks ending 30 October 2016.

Ten existing franchisees opened 11 more stores in the first half, while eight new franchisees joined Conviviality Retail during the six-month period.

In December the group purchased 15 stores from the convenience operator KMD which will be gradually converted to Bargain Booze Select Convenience during the second half.

Diana Hunter, CEO of parent company Conviviality plc, said: “These strong results demonstrate our competitive advantage, the broad customer base we have developed and the robust nature of Conviviality as the UK’s leading drinks wholesaler, distributor and solution provider to our customers.

“We have successfully restructured to create three business units Conviviality Direct, Conviviality Retail and Conviviality Trading, each providing our customers and franchisees with unrivalled range, expert service and advice to meet their customer needs whilst providing our suppliers with unmatched access to routes to market across both the on and off trade.”

Conviviality plc announced a first half pre-tax profit rise of 285% to £7.4m.