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Comparable results from Scotmid despite difficult start to year

Scotmid Co-operative has reported that its first half operating profit was comparable to that of the same period last year despite a difficult start to 2013 following a prolonged period of bad weather.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Comparable results from Scotmid despite difficult start to year

In the 26 weeks to 27 July 2013, operating profit was £2.03 million, down from £2.16 million in the first half of last year.

John Brodie, chief executive of Scotmid Co-operative said: “The good summer weather gave a strong boost to our retail trading businesses in late June and July, helping to catch up with the adverse effect of the prolonged cold weather in winter and spring, which impacted on our early retail sales performance.

“The Society, despite a challenging retail trading environment linked to an ongoing squeeze on household incomes, continues to be in a strong position with assets of around £95 million.”

During the period, Scotmid agreed a merger with Penrith Co-operative which will see the Society expand its food convenience business into England for the first time in its 154 year old history. The Society also focused on new initiatives and business improvements in its convenience stores, such as store segmentation, the rollout of in-store bakery counters, and the extension of the ‘Premium Fresh’ store trial and new local, fresh and ambient ranges.

Looking ahead Brodie said: “Although there have been some reports of economic recovery, this appears to be specific to certain locations and sectors and is not evident in the retail and consumer sectors in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England.

“There will normally be a significant time lag before any recovery filters down to consumers, so the outlook for the second half of 2013 remains challenging. We continue to sound a note of caution as the erosion of real terms disposable income is the everyday reality for our customers.”

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