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Conviviality (CVR) has said this morning that its annual results will be ahead of market expectations after a “transformational” year, which included the acquisition of Matthew Clark and the agreement to buy Bibendum.

Sales in the 53 weeks to 1 May will be 137% up year on year to about £864m, with EBITDA marginally ahead of market expectations, the Bargain Booze owner added in its pre-close trading update.

During the year, Conviviality Retail opened 126 new stores, with the number of closures down to 34, compare with 63 in 2014/15, resulting in net store growth of 92 and an increase in the number of shops to 716 at the year end. The group also attracted 38 new franchisees and the number of stores owned by multi-site franchisees increased by 42% to 364.

Wholesale sales were in line with the previous year and the rate of like-for-like retail sales decline by the franchise stores improved to -1.3% from -1.7%. Wine Rack continued to trade well with like-for-like sales up 3.2%.

Conviviality said Matthew Clark had traded strongly since acquisition with sales up 4.9% on the corresponding prior period. The number of outlets supplied increased 2.9%, with the number of customers also 2.9% higher.

The group expects to end the year with net debt of approximately £87m.

CEO Diana Hunter said: “We have successfully completed a transformational year for the company, its employees, customers and franchisees. We look forward to a strong set of results reflecting our transition to being the UK’s leading independent alcohol wholesaler, serving consumers through the on-trade and through its franchise retail estate.

“The acquisitions of Matthew Clark, Peppermint and Bibendum PLB Group enable Conviviality to fulfil its aim to satisfy all consumer drinking occasions, enabling it to have unrivalled insight and expertise as the drinks sector’s leading wholesaler and distributor.

“I would like to thank the passionate and talented team who work at Conviviality, our suppliers, our customers and our Franchisees for their support. I continue to be encouraged by the company’s achievements and the opportunities we have for the business.”

Trading in shares opened strongly, with Conviviality up 3.1% to 215.5p.

Morning update

Petrol forecourt operator Applegreen (APGN) has said that 2016 has started well in terms of trading and development of the business following strong growth in 2015. Chairman Daniel Kitchen is set to tell shareholders at today’s AGM that the business enjoyed a positive start in Ireland with trading volumes up in all categories, particularly food. “We continue to enjoy good growth in UK food sales amid a tough competitive landscape,” he said. “Overall the trading performance of the business for the first four months of the year has been in line with the board’s expectations.”

Since the year end, Applegreen has added 17 sites to the estate, with three petrol filling stations (PFS) and two service areas in Ireland and four new PFS and two service areas in the UK, along with another site in the north east of the US. “In summary, the board is very satisfied with the progress and performance of the business for the first four months of the year,” Kitchen added. “This gives us confidence in our ability to meet our growth targets for 2016.”

The share price has fallen 1.7% to 346.6p this morning in reaction to the statement.

Distribution and aviation business John Menzies said it has made a good start to the year and is trading in line with the board’s expectations. The group added ahead of the AGM that the aviation and distribution divisions were progressing well with their strategic and operational agendas in the first four months of the year to 30 April. Within Menzies Distribution, the sales decline in print media remained similar to that experienced in 2015, at 4% for the period. The acquisitions of Oban Express and Thistle Couriers were concluded and were integrating well, Menzies added.

Outgoing chairman Iain Napier said: “2016 has started well across the group and we continue to progress our growth strategy across both divisions. As I am retiring at the conclusion of today’s AGM I would like to take this opportunity to say how much I have enjoyed my time with the company and wish everyone connected to Menzies all the very best for the future.”

Coca-Cola HBC, Ocado and Greencore have all bounced back this morning (see below), with shares up 4.5% to 1,344p, 2.4% to 265.7p and 2.2% to 363.4p. Greggs (GRG) is also up 1.9% to 1,120p, Unilever (ULVR) has risen 2% to 3,101.5p, Sainsbury’s (SBRY) is up 1.6% to 255.9p and Morrisons (MRW) is up 1.5% to 191.3p.

Yesterday in the City

Fever-Tree (FEVR) ended the day 16% higher at 693.5p after it said in a trading update that it had performed better than expected in the first four months of 2016, continuing the strong momentum of 2015. The premium mixer brand added that given the strong start to 2016 that results for the full year ending 31 December 2016 would be materially ahead of market expectations. The stock had fizzed as much as 19% higher during the day to record highs of 711p.

Booker (BOK) finished the day flat at 175p after climbing almost 1% in morning trading to 176.3p on the back of a 9% rise in full year pre-tax profits to £150.8m thanks to acquisitions. Overall group revenue increased by 5% to £5bn, but like-for-like numbers fell 1.9% because of the tough deflationary retail environment.

Dairy Crest (DCG) didn’t fare quite so well with the share price slumping 3.4% to 562p. The business, which no longer has dairy operations following the sale to Müller UK & Ireland, posted a 5.8% drop in continuing operations revenues to £422.3m in the year to 31 March.

Robinsons owner Britvic (BVIC) also fell 1.6% to 691.5p despite a 5.1% increase in sales to £678m in the 8 weeks ended 10 April 2016. However, excluding the first time contribution from Brazilian squash manufacturer Ebba acquired in July, volumes increased 0.2% and revenue declined by 1.8% to £633.9m.

The FTSE 100 fell 1.8%, or 112.5 points, to 6,053.35 points as world stocks slid on fears of a possible US rate hike in June and slumps for mining and travel stocks.

Other fmcg/grocery stocks to fall included Greencore (GNC), Coca-Cola HBC (CCH), Ocado (OCDO) and Tesco (TSCO), down 3.3% to 355.7p, 2.7% to 1,287p, 2.2% to 259.7p and 1.9% to 159.9p respectively.