Central England Co-op reports increase in full year sales and profits
Central England Co-op has said its full year gross sales rose by 2.7% to £893 million and that trading profit came in ahead of budget at £17.5 million.
In the year to 25 January, operating profit climbed to £15.5 million from a previous £11.9 million.
The company, which runs 394 food stores as well as travel and funeral businesses, opened ten new food shops in the year and said its food business performed particularly well in the last six months of the period.
Gross food sales reached £743.1 million in the year compared to £728 million in the previous 12 months as the Co-op invested in revamping its stores and introducing new tills and software.
Commenting on the results, Debbie Robinson (pictured), Central England Co-op chief executive, said: “The second half of the year saw significant improvement particularly in our food business and this strong trading saw the society outperform sales in the overall convenience market.
“Over the coming year we will continue to invest in new stores together with a major refurbishment programme aimed at improving our best-performing existing stores.”
The company said it has made a range of major changes to its businesses as a result of the coronavirus crisis. This has included recruiting over 1,000 extra staff members to help in stores, implementing social distancing and new hygiene measures and employing an extra 150 security guards. It has also been working with local councils to get food to the most vulnerable and has donated over 60,000 items to food banks.
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