Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail has reported like-for-likes edged up 0.6% in its first half to October 27.

In its first formal trading statement since floating on AIM in July, Conviviality said it has traded “well” in the six month period, and that it “continues to perform in line with market expectations” for the full year to April 27.

The retailer said the modest 0.6% like-for-like rise “represents a marked improvement on the corresponding period in 2012” after it closed underperforming stores and improved standards across the remaining portfolio.

Conviviality acquired rival Wine Rack on September 2 and said those stores are “trading in line with management expectations, integrating well and performing to plan”.

The retailer is opening a new Wine Rack store on Thursday in West Byfleet in Surrey, featuring “improved point of sale customer communications and refreshed branding”. 

The Wine Rack website has also been revamped.

Conviviality’s new chief financial officer Julie Wirth starts at the company today, replacing Peter Hodgson who has retired from the board following more than 20 years of service. 

Conviviality chief executive Diana Hunter said:  “We are pleased with the performance to date. Like-for-like growth in store sales is encouraging and reflects signs of underlying improvement in the core business. This is a result of the increased focus of our franchisees and a better-quality store portfolio, combined with a number of new incentives successfully introduced during the period.

“Wine Rack has bedded in well and we are already seeing the benefits from this acquisition. The board looks forward to further progress and growth across the business in the second half.

“On behalf of the board, I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Julie to the company.”