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High Street

McColl’s CFO resigns amid ‘most challenging six months’

McColl’s CFO, Simon Fuller, has resigned amid the firm’s “most challenging six months” during which profits almost halved.

Although the British convenience store retailer saw total revenue increase 19.2% year-on-year to £601.7m, attributed to the 2017 acquisition of around 300 Co-op stores, McColl’s reported profits of £2.3m down from the £4.5m the previous year, for the 26-week period ending 27 May.

In a statement the firm said the impact on its supply chain of the failure of Palmer & Harvey saw like-for-like sales drop 2.7%. Also affected by the disruption to its supply chain, gross margin was 25%, down from 25.4% the previous year.

Adjusted EBITDA was also slightly down at £16m when compared with £16.5m reported in 2017. Net debt also increased from £110.8m to £112.6m.

Jonathan Miller, chief executive, said that he was “incredibly proud”  of McColl’s performance in dealing with one of the “most challenging six months the business has ever faced”. He said: “This temporary upheaval has inevitably impacted sales and margin performance in the 700 stores that were formerly supplied by P&H, and has also had knock-on effects on the rest of the estate.

“However, the switch to Morrisons supply in the 1,300 stores intended for this year has been accelerated, and will now be completed in early August, ahead of schedule. We will therefore have a progressively stronger and simpler operational position with a more compelling offer as we move through the second half and into 2019.

“As the convenience sector continues to grow, we remain confident that our clear strategy will allow us to make further progress and deliver sustainable returns for shareholders.”

During the results McColl’s also announced the departure of CFO Simon Fuller who is taking up a similar role at publishers Reach. He said: “It has been a privilege to work alongside so many fantastic colleagues at McColl’s. Although it was a tough decision, now is the right time for me to pursue a new challenge.

“I would like to thank Jonathan, the board and the entire team for their support, and I remain convinced that the company’s long-term strategy is the right one to deliver sustainable returns.”

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