McColl’s posted operating profit up 14.6% in its half year, as the convenience retailer promoted deputy chair John Coleman to chairman.

McColl’s, which floated on the stock exchange in February, revealed operating profit grew to £10m but it 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 the IPO.

The convenience retailer added that total sales jumped 3.6% to £444.2m and like-for-likes rose 2.1%. Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA increased 10.9% to £15.9m.

It said it remains on track to achieve full-year expectations.

Additionally, McColl’s has appointed deputy chairman John Coleman as its non-executive chairman, while Lancaster, who formerly held the chairman role, will focus on his chief executive role.

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

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.

McColl’s chief executive James Lancaster said: “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.”

Lancaster added that 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.

Since the IPO McColl’s completed a debt refinancing. Net debt was reduced £49.8m from November 24 to £36.3m at the end of the period.