McColl’s is to sell 100 of its newsagents after a review of its portfolio as it seeks to invest further in its profitable stores.

The convenience store and newsagent operator, which has 1,346 stores in total, has made the decision following a 2.3% slip in like-for-likes during its third quarter.

McColl’s claims it is still seeking to “develop and expand its convenience business” and has identified 100 stores to sell that are no longer part of its “long-term planning”.

The stores will not be sold for less than their asset value and their closure is expected to be earnings neutral in 2016.

McColl’s chief executive James Lancaster said: “As we continue to grow our convenience store estate we constantly review our wider store portfolio, and from this we have identified 100 newsagents which no longer align to our strategic objectives.

“The sale of these stores will generate funds which will allow us to invest further in profitable convenience stores.”

McColl’s added it will continue to run profitable newsagents and convert them to the convenience format “where appropriate”.

In its first half McColl’s reported pre-tax profits of £7.6m for the 26 weeks to the end of May, compared with a £4m loss in the same period last year.

Like-for-like sales in food and wine and premium convenience were flat, while like-for-likes in newsagents and standard convenience fell 4.7%.