Spar retailer Botterills has blamed a £1m drop in turnover on declining sales of fresh food and fuel.

The decline in year-on-year sales for the six months to November 2009 was due to poor bread and milk sales and petrol prices, which had fallen since October 2008, the Scottish convenience chain revealed in a trading update in its internal magazine.

However, trading had been strong at Christmas, helping reduce the year-on-year shortfall in sales excluding petrol to £300,000. Sales at 24 of its 52 Spar stores had also increased since November.

"Fresh food sales have suffered over the last 12 months especially in bread and milk, although this has been offset by the work done in substantially reducing waste in these departments," the retailer said.

"These are challenging times for c-stores but if we continue to improve stock controls, we will not only endure but grow."