McColl’s upbeat despite dip in Q3 sales

Convenience store operator McColl’s Retail Group today said it was confident of meeting its full-year targets despite unveiling a dip in third-quarter sales.

The firm, which floated in February, said like-for-like sales during the 13 weeks to 24 August were 0.5 per cent lower than a year ago.

However, it insisted the figure represented a “good performance” against strong summer trading last year. Total sales grew 4.3 per cent, driven by the acquisition of ten stores.

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McColl’s now has 771 convenience stores and chief executive James Lancaster said the chain is on track to achieve its target of 1,000 by the end of 2016.

He added: “Whilst the sector remains competitive, trading figures for the important summer quarter have stood up well and the convenience market fundamentals are very positive.

“The group remains in line with expectations for the full year.”