Retail sales at Bargain Booze stores were flat in the past year but owner Conviviality Retail expects full year earnings to be “slightly ahead of expectations”.

Average sales per store rose 3.2% and the group said this was down to “an improvement in the quality of the portfolio”.

It added that Conviviality traded well over Easter, with like-for-like retail sales up 2.2% at Bargain Booze stores and 6.5% for Wine Rack stores (six weeks to April 27).

The company will announce its full year results on July 14.

Chief executive Diana Hunter said: “We are pleased with both the Easter trading performance, which was particularly strong, and the delivery of solid full year like for like performance through a period of considerable change for the business.  Like-for-like growth was notably encouraging in the key trading periods through the year. 

“Wine Rack has been integrated successfully and demonstrates improving levels of performance under Conviviality ownership in the second half of the year.”

Wine Rack sales were up 1.4% in the second half of the financial year, after Conviviality bought the chain for £1.6 million in September 2014.

Yesterday it also completed the purchase of 26 Rhythm & Booze stores.

Andrew Humphreys has joined the company as chief financial officer. Humphreys was previously chief financial officer at Direct Wines and has also held directorships at Averys of Bristol, Cellar Door, Laithwaites and various wine firms.