McColl’s Retail Group plc, the convenience retailer, has today announced its trading update for the 13 and 52 week periods ended 26 November 2017, which shows revenues of over £1bn - a first for the group.
Total revenue was up 28.9% in Q4 and 19.1% for the full year following the successful integration of 298 acquired convenience stores (completed in mid-July).
Full-year like-for-like (LFL) sales were up 0.1%, with significant mix improvements as a result of growth in key grocery categories alongside declining traditional categories, split as follows: LFL sales in convenience stores were up 0.1%, and LFL sales in newsagents were down 0.2%.
Total LFL sales were down by 1.1% in Q4 impacted by declining traditional categories and unfavourable weather.
LFL sales in recently acquired and converted stores were up by 1.3% in Q4 and 2.4% for the full year.
The group revamped 25 convenience stores in H2, bringing the total to 27, with a
further 100 planned in FY18.
McColl’s is one of Subway’s fastest growing UK franchisees with 18 franchises now in operation.
Jonathan Miller, Chief Executive, (pictured) said, “I am delighted to report another strong quarter of revenue growth. For the first time the business has achieved annual revenues of more than £1bn, boosted by our transformational acquisition of 298 high quality convenience stores last year, demonstrating that this is now a business of real scale.
“McColl’s is well positioned to continue to take advantage of the growing convenience market, with clear opportunities to enhance organic growth across our estate, as well as continued expansion through our acquisition programme.
“As we look ahead to next year, we will focus on delivering an enhanced customer offer in over 1,300 stores through the groundbreaking wholesale partnership we signed with Morrisons, which will see us launch hundreds of Safeway branded products, exclusively in McColl’s from January 2018.
“We will also extend our successful convenience store refresh programme to 100 more stores next year. Customer feedback remains very positive and the early performance of refreshed stores has delivered significant increases in footfall and sales, and increased uptake of higher margin convenience categories, including fresh and chilled food.”
Update on wholesale supply arrangements
The company stated: 'We were both sad and disappointed to learn that Palmer and Harvey (P&H) was placed into administration on 28 November 2017. P&H has been a long-time partner of the McColl’s business and we have been grateful through the years for their continuing support.
'Our priority is to minimise any potential impact on customers. We are in ongoing discussions with our supply chain partners, and manufacturers, with a contingency plan already in place to ensure continuity of supply to the around 700 newsagents and smaller convenience stores, previously supplied by P&H, within our estate of 1,611 stores.'