McColl’s Retail Group has revealed a 2.7% growth in sales for the final quarter, with the decline in like-for-like sales less than in the previous quarter.

The group, which operates 893 convenience stores and 460 newsagents across the UK, saw like-for-like sales down 1.8% for the 13 weeks ending 29 November 2015, an improvement on the decline of 2.3% in the prior quarter. For the full year like-for-like sales were down 1.9% compared with the previous 52 week period, but total sales were up 3.1%.

Throughout the year the group acquired 60 convenience stores and converted 45 newsagents to a food and wine format, as it seeks to expand to 1,000 convenience stores by the end of next year.

Chief executive James Lancaster said: “Whilst the sector continues to be challenging, total company like-for-like sales improved in the quarter, and have held up well in our developed convenience stores over the course of the year. We therefore expect results to be in line with the board’s expectations for the year.”

McColl’s also expanded its food to go offer this year, through the introduction of coffee and snacking modules in 115 stores and the installation of 33 full food to go modules. Expansion also included opening a first Subway franchise during the quarter at a forecourt in Tamworth.