Conviviality has posted strong sales and like-for-like growth at the half-year mark as its store improvement strategy bears fruit.

The drinks specialist reported a 9.2% jump in revenue year-on-year to £836m in a trading update on the 26 weeks to October 29.

The distribution, foodservice and retail group owns fascias including Bargain Booze and Wine Rack.

Its retail division, which ended the financial period with 708 stores, reported a 10% rise in revenue to £203m bolstered by strong like-for-likes sales, up 2.3% excluding tobacco and 0.4% including tobacco.

Conviviality is undergoing a store refresh programme and reported a 53% increase in average sales per store opened in the six month period, which it attributed to their improved location and proposition.

The group’s trading sales rose 9.6% to £93m during the period, while its direct sales increased 6.9% to £540m.

Chief executive Diana Hunter said: “We are pleased to have delivered strong revenue growth during the period.

“This performance is a direct result of the support and engagement of our valued customers and franchisees across our entire business, our suppliers and global producers and the talented teams who work closely with them.

“During this period the company has undergone significant change as we continue to implement systems that will ultimately serve to future-proof our business and enable us to continue to deliver the outstanding service that our customers and franchisees expect from us.”