McColl’s gains momentum from Co-op acquisition


McColl’s Retail Group has posted interim results for the six months ending May 28, 2017, a period which saw the integration of 298 stores bought from the Co-op.

Total revenue was up 7.6% to £504.8m (2016: £469.2m). This figure was boosted by the Co-op stores, around two-thirds of which were trading at the half-year and all by the end of July.

Like-for-like sales rose by 0.2% in H1 and by 1.4% in Q2, in part supported by favourable weather.

Adjusted EBITDA increased to £16.5m (2016: £16.0m), despite being impacted by £1.3m pre-opening costs relating to the acquisition. Profit before tax, affected by £2.3m exceptional costs and £1.3m pre-opening costs, was £4.5m (2016: £8.2m).

The Group’s store base now comprises 1,292 convenience stores and 358 newsagents – an 80% increase in c-stores since the IPO in 2014. Around 10 single convenience store acquisitions are planned for H2. One further Subway outlet opened in H1, with four planned for H2.

Jonathan Miller, McColl’s Chief Executive, was encouraged by the half-year performance and said the business has continued to gain momentum.

“We are delighted to have completed the integration of the acquired stores, on time and on budget. We have welcomed over 3,500 new colleagues who have done a great job in supporting customers through the transition, and early trading is in line with our expectations. With all 298 stores now on board, they are expected to make a material contribution to sales and profit in the second half of the year and beyond,” he added.

“Our focus remains on enhancing our convenience proposition through growing market share, developing our product ranges and delivering excellent customer service.

“As the wider convenience and wholesale sector evolves and continues to grow, McColl’s is in a strong position to benefit. We remain confident that our standing as a leading neighbourhood retailer will allow us to continue to achieve further progress against our strategy and deliver sustainable returns for shareholders.”