McColl’s Retail has reported strong results in its final quarter after a considerably difficult year.
In the 13 weeks to November 19, total sales increased by 2.7%, while like-for-like sales, excluding this year’s new stores, fell by 1.8%. Nonetheless this was a 0.5% improvement on the last quarter.
The retailer also reported a decrease of 4% in like-for-likes in its newsagents in comparison to a 0.6% fall in its convenience branch.
This year McColl’s opened 60 new convenience stores and converted 45 newsagents to food and wine shops. The British convenience chain has been determined to convert its newsagents into food and wine locations and is working on modernising its convenience sector.
"I am delighted to report significant progress on our strategic initiatives for the financial year, continuing our expansion into convenience and capturing further market share” said Chief Executive James Lancaster.
"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."
The group expects results to be “earnings neutral” in 2016, as profits will be re-invested into its convenience estate.
“We’re a world away from just being the place to go in the neighbourhood for your papers and milk.
"Increasingly we believe we are becoming the neighbourhood’s favourite store for just about every daily essential – from an evening meal to a morning coffee, from picking up your online purchases to posting a letter or paying a bill” Lancaster added.
Lancaster announced his plans to step down from CEO to non-executive chairman earlier this month. He said that he felt the company had considerably improved from its “newsagent roots”.