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Conviviality (CVR) has increased sales 211% in the first half to £783m thanks to the transformative acquisitions of Matthew Clark and Bibendum PLB, but like-for-like sales at Bargain Booze are in decline.

Since the deals in October and May, respectively, the group has been spilt into three divisions: Conviviality Direct, wholesaling to the on-trade, Conviviality Retail, under the Bargain Booze and Wine Rack fascias, and Conviviality Trading, a brand and wine agency.

Like-for-like sales at Conviviality Retail fell 1.7% compared with a year ago when the business ran a summer marketing campaign. Stores opened since 2012 continued to trade strongly with like-for-like revenues up 1.1%, Conviviality added. The division generated sales of £189m in the half.

Conviviality Direct generated sales of £515m in the period compared with £60m in the three weeks from 7 October to 31 October 2015 and Conviviality Trading revenues were £79m.

The integration of Matthew Clark and Bibendum PLB was making strong progress ahead of plan, with expected synergies on track.

CEO Diana Hunter said: “I am pleased that the group has delivered this strong performance across all divisions during such a transformational period.

“This further demonstrates the teamwork and dedication of all of our people in maintaining excellent levels of service to their customers. The organic growth in each business unit demonstrates that existing and new customers are increasingly recognising Conviviality as the leading solution provider and distributor to the UK drinks market.”

Conviviality continued to perform in line with market expectations for the 52-week period ending 30 April 2017, the statement added.

Shares in the drinks group have opened strongly, up 4.5% to 214.2p so far this morning.

Morning update

The CMA is deciding whether to accept undertakings from The Co-op for its purchase of eight former My Local stores. The monopoly watchdog announced in October that it was investigating whether the deal would lessen competition in the eight areas. In a short statement this morning, the CMA said it has considered the proposal made by the Co-op to allay its worries and it is now deciding whether to give the deal the green light.

“The CMA has considered the undertakings offered and today announced that it considers that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the undertaking offered, or a modified version of it, might be accepted by the CMA to remedy the substantial lessening of competition identified by the CMA.”

It has until the 30 December to decide whether to accept the undertakings, but it does not say what the Co-op has offered.

PureCircle has appointed a new chief operating officer to report directly to drive the optimisation and management of the stevia producer’s global operations, covering leaf sourcing, manufacturing, customer service and sustainability endeavours.

Gary Juncosa has more than 20 years of experience in the specialty chemicals sector, including seven years at International Flavors and Fragrances in various global leadership roles, including supply chain, procurement and global ingredient sales; four years as vice president of operations of Yinghai Aroma Chemical Group in China, a private supplier of aroma chemicals and fragrance ingredients; two years with LS9, a biotech start-up designing bacteria to produce chemicals; and most recently two years at Renewable Energy Group, a global biofuels and renewable chemicals company.

Magomet Malsagov,said: “Gary will be instrumental in driving the operations of our company now that the new expanded purification facility is near to completion. With the new COO overseeing the day-to-day activities of the company and the continued support of other leaders in the management team, I will be able to focus on driving the growth strategy and development of PureCircle’s long term business objectives of providing a portfolio of stevia-based sweetener solutions to global F&B and flavour companies.”

The FTSE 100 has opened up 0.4% to 6,979.68 points. Early risers include Tesco, up 1.4% to213.7p, WH Smith (SMWH), up 1.2% to 1,490p, and Cranswick, up 1.1% to 2,141p.

Morrisons (MRW) is down 1.3% ahead of its Q3 update later this week; Ocado is also down 1% to 272.2p.

Yesterday in the City

Majestic Wine (WINE) fell 1.6% to 285.5p yesterday despite the wine merchant launching a next day delivery service for its full wine portfolio. The retailer said it was a “significant step” in its transformation plan. The stock is now down 26% in the past three months, with a profits warning in September.

Tesco (TSCO) slipped 1.6% to 212.4p as news emerged that more than 125 institutional funds have put in claims for more than £100m in damages for the slump in value following the accounting scandal of 2014.

There was a lack of market news flow yesterday to after share prices in general but Cranswick (CWK) was down 2.7% to 2,139.7p, McColl’s (MCLS) fell 2.6% to 170.5p and Ocado (OCDO) was 1.9% lower at 276.1p.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.6% to 6,954.22 points, but is up almost 1% for October, a fifth straight month of gains.