McColl’s Retail Group has posted a 3.6% increase in total sales for the 26 weeks to 25 May 2014, with like-for-like sales up by 2.1%.
The group’s operating profit increased by 14.6% to £10m, but its pre-tax losses were £4m due to a deduction of £6.2m in exceptional costs for its IPO in February.
Chairman and chief executive James Lancaster said the group was on track to achieve full year results in line with expectations.
“McColl’s has delivered solid progress during the first half of the year, and we remain on track to deliver the expected results for the full year, building on the success of our IPO in February,” he said.
During the 26-week period McColl’s acquired 23 new premium convenience stores, converted 20 newsagents to food & wine stores and upgraded 98 standard convenience stores to premium. It reported a 2.4% sales uplift in the stores converted from standard to premium.
Lancaster said its estate overhaul was going to plan. “Our store conversion and expansion strategy continues to progress well, underpinned by our strengthened balance sheet and strong cash flow,” he said. “With the opening of our 750th store in June, we are on track to achieve our target of 1,000 convenience stores by the end of 2016.”
He said McColl’s would be adding more products and services to its offering, including converting 191 of its existing Post Offices to the Local model.
“In addition to our store transformation, we are also focused on expanding our products and services to provide more convenient ways for our customers to shop,” added Lancaster. “We have begun the roll out of Post Office ‘Locals’ across our portfolio. We have also completed our supply chain transformation which is helping to increase basket spend.”
The group also announced changes to its board of directors. Chief operating officer Martyn Aguss has resigned from the group and has been replaced by current operations director Dave Thomas.
Current chairman and chief executive James Lancaster will focus on his chief executive role while John Coleman, current non-executive director and deputy chairman, will focus on the non-executive chairman role. All changes are effective immediately.