Annual sales at McColl’s Retail Group smashed through the £1bn barrier last year thanks to the rapid expansion of its store portfolio.

Total revenues in the 52 weeks ended 26 November 2017 jumped 19.1% to £1.1bn following the integration of the 298 shops acquired from Co-op.

However, like-for-like growth for the year came in at just 0.1% as a decline in categories such as news and confectionery held the group back. It represented a big improvement on the 1.9% fall in the prior year.

The retailer also said the collapse of P&H had hit sales in the last quarter, with like-for-likes down 2.2% in the 11 weeks to 11 February.

McColl’s said it had made “good progress” towards its strategic target of increasing grocery and alcohol sales at the group, which was up more than 40% and now represented 32% of total sales, compared with 27% in 2016.

Adjusted EBITDA, excluding property-related items, increased by 20% to £44m, with pre-tax profits up from £17.7m to £18.4m.

CEO Jonathan Miller said: “We have delivered a strong financial performance with a step up in sales and profitability.”