Convenience retailer McColl’s has revealed that earnings are set to fall short of expectations amid “unseasonable weather and lower consumer confidence”.
In a full year trading update for the period ending 24 November 2019, total revenue was down by 1.9% for the year, which was a reflection of store divestments caused by its store optimisation programme.
The retailer also reported its adjusted EBITDA is now expected to be £32m.
These earnings are “marginally below expectations” as a result of “softer market conditions” in the second half of the year.
Like-for-like sales remained level, however, whilst there was also progress with its debt reduction programme. Net debt dropped to £94.1m compared with £98.6m the year prior.
McColl’s also noted “continued operational progress” with an improvement in on-shelf availability, as well as an advancement of its category review programme.
The retailer revealed it had been trialling “new propositional enhancements” that include a “scalable food-to-go format, last-mile delivery with Uber Eats and improved customer segmentation of the estate”.
Jonathan Miller, chief executive, said: “While 2019 has been another challenging year for the business, we have made good progress against our goals of operational stability and good retail execution.
“We are also pleased to confirm that we have continued to reduce net debt, with further progress anticipated due to our ongoing capital discipline.”
He added: “The fundamentals of the convenience channel are strong and we remain a resilient, profitable and cash generative business.
“We are confident in our plans to rebuild momentum in 2020, and look forward to providing a fuller strategy update at our Preliminary Results in February.”