Co-op’s food business posts strong uplift in sales and profit
Co-op has reported that its food retail business increased its sales by 5.2% to £3.9 billion in the first half of its financial year.
The uplift came after like-for-like sales rose by 9.9% in the retailer’s second quarter.
Meanwhile, Co-op’s underlying profit increased by 46% to £175 million in the six month period which ended on 4 July.
The retailer said it benefited from more people shopping locally closer to home during the Covid-19 crisis. Some 1.7 million new households shopped at Co-op in the period with the average basket size doubling as customers reduced visits. Covid-19 also drove and online orders which increased fourfold in the period.
Steve Murrells, chief executive of the Co-op, said: “We are living in unprecedented times, but the response of our Co-op has been exceptional and I’m immensely proud of my 60,000 colleagues who’ve helped to feed and care for the nation during this difficult period. We’ve shown how our co-operative approach to doing business provides enhanced value for our customer-members and the communities in which they live. At a time of crisis, our country needs a strong and progressive Co-op and these results evidence that we are ready to deliver even more for our key stakeholders.”
Looking ahead, the retailer said is likely to face more intense competition in the coming months but stressed that it is well positioned. It added: “We have already resumed our store opening programme and have made a commitment to invest £130m in opening 50 stores, giving 15 stores significant extensions, and giving 100 further outlets major makeovers, creating 1,000 jobs before the end of the year.”
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