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Alcohol retailer and wholesaler Conviviality (CVR) has seen its first half revenues rise 38% after the acquisition of Matthew Clark as the group reports strong Christmas trading.

Overall revenues were up 38% to £252m in the 27 weeks to 1 November, with EBITDA up 43% to £6.5m.

Conviviality Retail saw sales rise 0.8% during the period, but like for like sales fell 1.3%. EBITDA was flat at £4.5m. It said it remained on course to meet its full year net store opening target of 50 and stores owned by multisite franchisees was up 7.4% to 276.

Matthew Clark saw revenues grow by 2.7% from 7 October to 1 November to £60.6m, with EBITDA up 10% to £2.1m.

Additionally, the company said it has experienced “strong Christmas” trading in the two weeks to 3 January, with group sales growth 13% above last year. Like for like retail sales during the two weeks were up by 1.1%, with Wine Rack up 11.1%.

CEO Diana Hunter said: “This is a strong set of results during a period of significant transformational change.

“With Matthew Clark we now have a firm foundation in the expansive on-trade market from which to build on, and our success over the important Christmas period gives us confidence that the second half will deliver further growth.”

Morning update

Real Good Food (RGD) has issued a profits warning this morning, stating that investment in the business means it will miss market expectations for the 2015/16 financial year.

The company stated: “The board now expects that within the continuing business EBITDA will remain flat year on year, as this investment, when combined with other one-off events within the various business divisions, has led to a short term impact on margins. As a result the board does not expect the final profit outcome for the financial year ended 31 March 2016 to meet current market expectations.”

However, it said it remains confident the negative impact on margins is short-term and it remains well positioned for future growth following its investment programme. It also noted that the sale of sugar business Napier Brown for £44.4m, which delivered exceptional profit of £9.4m, will mean pre-tax profit and earnings per share will be “significantly improved” compared to last year.

Finsbury Food Group (FIF) has appointed Nichols’ group chief executive Marnie Millard as non-executive director with immediate effect. She has been at soft drinks firm since 2012, joining as MD of Vimto, and has worked in the soft drinks industry for 20 years. Additionally, non-exec deputy chairman Paul Monk will step down from the Finsbury board after its November 2016 AGM after 13 years.

The FTSE 100 has opened relatively flat this morning, edging down 0.2% to 6,074.2pts.

Real Good Food has plunged 17.3% this morning to 36.8p - its lowest level since April 2015.

Conviviality is up 3.4% to 206.7p after updating the market on its retail like for like growth over Christmas.

Elsewhere, Coca Cola HBC (CCH) is up 1.5% to 1,450p this morning, Poundland (PLND) is up 1.5% to 144p and Morrisons (MRW) is up 1.4% to 177p.

Premier Foods (PFD) is down 1.9% to 36.5p and Imperial Tobacco (IMT) is down 1.1% to 3,746p. 

This week in the City

This big event this week is the deadline for Sainsbury’s (SBRY) to ‘put up or shut up’ in its pursuit of Home Retail Group. Sainsbury’s has until 5pm on 2 February (Tuesday) to make a formal bid for Argos or to walk away from the deal.

Also tomorrow is Ocado’s (OCDO) full year earnings, with the market particularly keen for any update on international agreements Ocado has negotiated to grow outside the UK or the possibility of a tie-up with Amazon in the UK.

Catering specialist Compass Group (CPG) is to issue a trading update on Thursday.

Internationally, Hain Celestial will issue a Q2 trading update later today, while Mondelez (MDLZ) issues its Q4 earnings on Wednesday.

Imperial Tobacco (IMT) and British American Tobacco (BAT) have their annual shareholders meetings on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.