Martin Walker

Member Article

McColl's profits up to £10m in first half-year

Convenience store chain McColls has posted a 14.6% jump in profits to £10m in its first half year.

The retailer, which floated on the stock exchange in February, says sales jumped 3.6% to £444.2m.

But McColl’s made a pre-tax loss of £4m in the 26 weeks to May 25, which it blamed on £6.2m exceptional costs, largely relating to its IPO.

Since floating, McColl’s has completed a debt refinancing, with net debt being reduced from £49.8m in November to £36.3m at the end of the period.

McColl’s, which has 62 shops in the North-East and more than 1,200 in Britain, said it remains on track to achieve full-year expectations.

The firm has appointed deputy chairman John Coleman as its non-executive chairman, while James Lancaster, who formerly held the chairman role, will focus on his chief executive role.

Lancaster said: “We have a very experienced management team with three executive directors on the board and excellent senior management below board level.

“We are fully focused on successfully implementing our strategy to expand our convenience store portfolio and provide an increasing range of convenient services for customers.”

The changes, which come into effect immediately, will make it fully compliant with the UK Corporate Governance Code.

In the year McColl’s acquired 23 premium convenience format stores, converted 20 newsagents to food and wine formats and switched 98 standard convenience stores to premium convenience.

It ended the period with 747 convenience stores and 544 newsagents.

Lancaster added: “Our store conversion and expansion strategy continues to progress well, underpinned by our strengthened balance sheet and strong cash flow.

“With the opening of our 750th store in June, we are on track to achieve our target of 1,000 convenience stores by the end of 2016.”

Meanwhile, McColl’s has begun rolling out Post Office ‘locals’ across its store estate, which it hopes to provide more convenience for its customers.

The retailer has also completed its supply chain improvements, which it says is increasing basket spend.

Chief operating officer Martyn Aguss has resigned, and will be replaced by operations director Dave Thomas.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Martin Walker .

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