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In our latest piece of Co-op News, we take a look at the impressive performance of their food business. In the six months to 1 July, core convenience like-for-like sales were up 4.5%. Their reported food sales were down 1.2% at £3.48 billion but 0.7% higher year-on-year when removing the sales from the 298 stores sold to the McColl’s convenience chain during the period.
Underlying profit at the food business was broadly in line with last year at £65 million while operating profit also rose to an impressive £77 million from £63 million in the previous year. The increase in operating profit was due to an increase on property and business disposals and an uplift in investment property values.
In May Co-op Food agreed with independent petrol service station operator MRH to pilot seven brand new franchise convenience stores. The Co-op said early trials have been positive with sales in the stores up by over an incredible 50%.
During the period, Co-op Food opened 34 new food stores and is on course to reach its target of 100 new stores by the end of 2017.
Across the wider Co-op group, which includes insurance and funeral care businesses, revenue was solid against last year at £4.6 billion.
Pre-tax profit has seen an improved 47% to £25 million while underlying pre-tax profit declined to £14 million from a previous £27 million as insurance profits fell and members and their communities benefited from a £35 million payout from the Co-op reward scheme.
Steve Murrells, group chief executive of the Co-op, said: “Championing a better way of doing business for our members and their communities is what the Co-op is all about and I’m delighted that we are really starting to deliver on that purpose.
“Since we launched our member reward scheme in September 2016 more than 1.1 million people have signed up to join the Co-op. As a result, we’ve been able to give £35 million back to our members and their communities over the first half of this year, a conscious decision to share our success with our members and the 4,000 good causes which mean so much to them.
“We can do all this because our businesses have continued to perform in the face of challenging markets. Across our business, we are also maintaining our commitment of re-investing for the future success of our Co-op.”
During the period, the Co-op also appointed Jo Whitfield as the new permanent chief executive of its food business. If you need any more information about our Co-op News or are interested in any of our roles, call us on 0161 828 8726 or email us at [email protected]
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