McColl’s slips to half-year loss as sales edge down

Mc colls

McColl’s profits and sales dipped slightly at the interim mark, although like-for-like sales during lockdown grew due to the “extraordinary changes” in customer behaviour driven by the pandemic.

The convenience chain saw a loss before tax of £0.5m in the 26 weeks to May 24, down from a £0.5m profit in 2019. Sales for the wider period dropped 1.0% to £604.8m, as the retailer contended with store closures and reduced services such as scratch cards, but this was offset by higher demand.

However, like-for-like sales grew 8.3% for the period, which McColl’s said accelerated to double-digit like-for-like growth in the second quarter, as the UK was plunged into lockdown. 

Chief executive Jonathan Miller said: “We’ve seen some quite extraordinary changes [during the lockdown] with very strong demand, reaching double-digit like-for-like growth in some weeks. There’s also been a big shift in what people are buying from us - our food and alcohol sales have been particularly strong, which endorses our strategy. 

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