McColl’s Retail Group has announced that sales declined 1.8% year-on-year for the 13-week period to August 28.

The convenience retail chain revealed like-for-like sales for the year to date also dropped 2.0% while like-for-likes in newsagents and convenience stores fell 3.7%, as a result of “continued pressure on traditional categories”.

The group’s total revenue for the quarter grew 1.8% and 2.0% for the year to date as after announcing in July that it had acquired 298 convenience stores from the Co-op.

McColl’s acquired 36 new stores taking its total estate up to 953 at the end of the third quarter, and is on track to achieve its target of 1,000 stores by the end of 2016. The group also opened its 550th Post Office and eighth Subway franchise in the same quarter.

Jonathan Miller, chief executive, said: “2016 continues to be a year of significant progress in delivering our convenience strategy. This was particularly demonstrated by our transformational acquisition of 298 convenience stores from the Co-op announced on 13th July 2016. We are making good progress with the approvals and our preparations ahead of the transition of these stores during 2017.

“Our total sales this quarter were up year on year by 1.8%, fuelled by our investment programme. Like for like sales were down by 1.8%, marking a slight improvement on the year to date trend. As a business we remain focussed on the key elements of our clear strategy: to increase market share, grow our convenience product range and deliver great customer service, which we are confident will cement our position as a leading neighbourhood retailer. We continue to be on track to deliver results in line with the Board’s expectations for the financial year, alongside reaching 1,000 convenience stores by the end of the calendar year.”