Convenience store chain McColl’s warned earnings would narrowly miss expectations due to “unseasonable weather” and low consumer confidence.
Revenue slipped 1.9 per cent for 12 months to the end of November, the firm revealed in a trading update today.
It warned that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) will hit £32m, missing market expectations.
Meanwhile like-for-like sales are set to remain flat after falling 1.4 per cent in 2018.
While it trimmed net debt by almost £5m to £94.1m, the business blamed its drop in sales on a store closure plan that forms part of a wider strategy to optimise its presence on high streets.
“While 2019 has been another challenging year for the business, we have made good progress against our goals of operational stability and good retail execution,” chief executive Jonathan Miller said.
“We are also pleased to confirm that we have continued to reduce net debt, with further progress anticipated due to our ongoing capital discipline.
“The fundamentals of the convenience channel are strong and we remain a resilient, profitable and cash generative business. We are confident in our plans to rebuild momentum in 2020, and look forward to providing a fuller strategy update at our preliminary results in February.”
McColl’s share price slipped two per cent to 40.5p as Peel Hunt called the update “tough but no worse than feared”.