McColl’s has announced a 1.4% increase in like-for-like sales for the 19-week period to 6 April.

The retail group said year-on-year sales grew by 3% as it continued to enhance its c-store offering through acquisitions and conversions.

It has made a “good start” as a public company following the successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) in February this year. Gross bank borrowings have reduced from £109.9m to £60.9m.

In line with its plans for the period, the group acquired 10 new premium convenience stores and converted a further 93 standard convenience stores into premium convenience stores by adding a wider range of groceries, particularly chilled and fresh foods.

It also converted 11 newsagent stores to food and wine stores, adding a focused range of grocery and alcohol.

Four stores were closed during the period as part of the group’s strategy to remove underperforming stores from its portfolio. McColl’s now has a total of 725 convenience stores representing 56% of its total store base of 1,279.

Under a new agreement with the Post Office, McColl’s will complete 191 post office local conversions in 2014.

James Lancaster, chairman and ceo, said: “We are pleased with how life as a public company has begun. Trading figures remain encouraging and we are making good progress on our strategy to further enhance our position in a rapidly growing convenience market.”