James Lancaster

McColl’s boss James Lancaster is to focus on the role of CEO

McColl’s Retail Group has reported a 2.1% increase in half-year like-for-like sales, and revealed founder James Lancaster is to fully focus on his role as chief executive.

Total sales in the 26 weeks to 25 May rose 3.6% to £444.2m, but the chain reported a pre-tax loss of £4m due to exceptional costs of £6.2m largely relating to its February IPO.

McColl’s said it acquired 23 new premium c-stores during the six months. It also converted 20 CTNs to its food & wine format, and 98 of its standard c-stores to premium c-stores.

“McColl’s has delivered solid progress during the first half of the year, and we remain on track to deliver the expected results for the full year, building on the success of our IPO in February,” Lancaster said.

“Notwithstanding the competitive landscape, I am encouraged by the strong fundamentals of the convenience retail sector and the ability of McColl’s to capture growth in this market.”

McColl’s also revealed that Lancaster, who had been both chief executive and chairman, will now fully focus on his role as chief executive.

Non-executive director and deputy chairman John Coleman will move up to the role of chairman.

Dave Thomas McColl's

Dave Thomas is McColl’s new chief operating officer

Chief operating officer Martyn Aguss has resigned from the group. He has been replaced by Dave Thomas (pictured), who is promoted from the role of operations director.

“I would like to personally thank Martyn for his work during the growth and development of McColl’s,” Lancaster added.

“We have a very experienced management team with three executive directors on the board and excellent senior management below board level.”