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18 Feb 2019 | 07:57

McColl's Retail profit more than halves on supply chain woes

Convenience store owner McColl's Retail Group said its annual profit more than halved and it slashed its dividend, after it suffered supply chain disruptions.

The company said its pre-tax profit for the year through 28 November fell to £7.9m, down from £18.4m on-year.

Revenue rose 8.1% to £1.24bn, assisted by an acquisition, but like-for-like sales slipped 1.4%.

McColl's said sales showed an improving trend in the fourth quarter, with like-for-like sales flat on -year and up by 1.2% so far in the first quarter of 2019.

The company declared a final dividend of 0.6%, bringing total dividends for the year to 4.0p, down from 10.3p on-year.

'2018 was undoubtedly a challenging year, marked by supply chain disruption following Palmer & Harvey's entry into administration and the accelerated transition to our new supply partner Morrisons,' chief executive Jonathan Miller said.

'Despite this disruption, we continued to make progress against a number of our key strategic plans.'

'We completed the rollout of 1,300 stores to Morrisons supply in less than nine months, which represents a considerable achievement and provides us with a more secure supply chain and a higher quality chilled and fresh offer.'

'We also continued to invest in our estate, with 59 convenience store refreshes completed in the year and 11 new stores acquired.'

'We are a profitable and cash generative business, and our priority for the year ahead is to rebuild operational momentum and we remain confident in delivering our strategic plans.'

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