Co-op food business posts best growth in seven years
The Co-op has said its food business has seen the best growth in seven years when reporting on its results for 2018.
Underlying operating profit at the business increased by 12% to £204 million and like-for-like sales rose by 4.4% as the retailer benefited from the year’s hot summer and the England football team’s performance in the World Cup.
Revenue was also boosted by its acquisition of the Nisa food wholesale business, which Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells described as a “game-changer” in helping the business to expand its food footprint.
During the year, the Co-op also signed a deal to supply Costcutter Supermarkets Group. In addition, the business spent £75 million on opening more than 100 new food stores, refitting 138 existing stores and the creation of 1,600 new jobs.
Murrells said: “Our ambition to be the number one convenience food retailer remains on track, driven by our ‘Closer’ strategy: closer to where are customers are; closer to what they need; and closer to what they care about.”
Across the wider Co-op group, which also includes funeralcare and insurance businesses, total revenue climbed by 14% to £10.2 billion.
Meanwhile, pre-tax profit was up 27% to £93 million in the period.
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