McColl’s has blamed a 0.9% drop in like-for-like third quarter sales - recorded during the summer heatwave - on continued supply chain disruption caused by the collapse of wholesaler Palmer & Harvey.

In the 13 weeks ending 26 August, the group also completed the transition to Morrisons supply in 1,300 stores, ahead of its original schedule.

The approximately 300 stores acquired from the Co-op Group in 2017 are under a separate supply contract with Nisa until 2020.

Further sales and leaseback transactions were completed, generating £10m of cash proceeds to partly support its estate investment programme.

Chief executive Jonathan Miller said: “The accelerated rollout of 1,300 stores to Morrisons supply is now complete, including all 700 stores formerly serviced by P&H. The rapid rate of transition has been a fantastic achievement, being delivered in less than nine months, and in the face of unprecedented disruption in the sector and for our business.

“With our new supply chain partner in place, we can refocus on day-to-day operations, including improving availability and rebuilding trade in those stores most affected by the disruption, and I’m grateful for the continued effort from all of my colleagues.”

During the quarter total sales increased by 0.6%.