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Co-operative Food sales drop 2.1%

Co-operative Food has reported a 2.1% fall in its full-year like-for-like food sales for the year to 31 December. This is an improvement on the society’s half-year figures which showed a 3.6% decline in like-for-like sales.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Co-operative Food sales drop 2.1%

Co-operative Food has reported a 2.1% fall in its full-year like-for-like food sales for the year to 31 December. This is an improvement on the society’s half-year figures which showed a 3.6% decline in like-for-like sales.

Underlying operating profit fell 20% to £309 million compared to £389 million in the previous year. This follows an £110 million investment in the opening of two new distribution centres and an £11 million investmnt in energy reduction initiatives.

The society opened 32 new stores and revamped 421 in the period. It also acquired the Scottish based David Sands convenience chain and invested in rolling out contactless payment systems in stores within the M25.

Co-op Group CEO Peter Marks said like-for-like sales had been down by only 0.7% in the third quarter of 2011 and by 0.2% in the fourth quarter.

Group profits dropped 5.8% to £373 million while group sales fell 1% to  £13.3 billion.

Commenting on the results Marks said: "Over the past year we have invested in the services, systems and infrastructure we need to deliver real value to our customers while setting out to realise the true potential of our vast, diverse customer base and our strong family of businesses. We have also invested significantly in discounts and special offers for our customers."

"The Co-op Group is in better shape than ever before because of all the work done over the past five years. Our ownership model means that we can take a long-term view and we are as driven, determined and ambitious as ever to modernise our business."

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