Like-for-like sales at McColl’s Retail Group have fallen by 1.9% in the 26 weeks to 31 May 2015.

The group attributed the decline to the drop in like-for-like newsagent and standard convenience sales which are down 4.7%.

However, sales through stores which had converted to McColl’s premium convenience or food and wine formats were holding up, chief executive James Lancaster said.

”This demonstrates the strength of our business development strategy and we will continue to grow market share in our convenience offering,” he added.

“Over the past 12 months we have continued to make good progress on our strategic objectives and focussed on improving our range and offer, increasing our store base and streamlining the business.”

Total revenue was up 3.4% to £459.3m and the group made a pre-tax profit of £7.6m - up on 2014 figures.

McColl’s also said it was on track to expand its convenience store estate.

It acquired 25 new convenience stores over the period, bringing its total to 837 convenience stores and 496 newsagents, of which, 16 were converted to the food and wine format.