McColl’s expects to reach its estimated target for 2014 as sales improved by 5.0% in the final financial quarter.

Total sales for the full year grew by 4.2%, however, like-for-like sales were down year on year by (-1.0%), reflecting a weakening of trading conditions, although ahead 0.7% year to date.

In the final quarter, McColl’s accelerated the pace of acquisitions to 21 new Premium Convenience Stores and converted nine Newsagent stores to the Food and Wine Format. It now has 799 Convenience Stores, 60 of these having been acquired year to date. It is on track to achieve its target of 1,000 Convenience stores by the end of 2016.

CEO James Lancaster welcomed McColl’s overall progress and continued expansion of convenience store development. “Customers are responding well to our improved convenience offer, but with disposable income under continued pressure, the consumer outlook remains challenging,” he added.

The modernisation of McColl’s Post Office network has continued and it has now successfully completed the 191 locals conversion project.