Co-operative Group sees profits fall
The Co-operative Group has announced a fall in profits for the 26 weeks to 2 July. Overall sales were down from £6.95 billion in the equivalent period last year to £6.89 billion in 2011.
The Group’s underlying operating profit fell to £275.1 million compared to £308.1 million in 2010.
Food business sales were £3.7 billion, which was a 4.6% fall on this time last year and 3.6% down on a like-for-like-basis. The group’s other businesses produced sales of £1.43 billion which was roughly in line with last year.
Commenting on the results, group chief executive Peter Marks said: At the full year we warned that the downturn was biting deeper than anyone had expected and predicted that challenging trading conditions would continue into 2012. This has clearly proved to be the case. Indeed, it is the worst I have seen in over 40 years of retailing and, against this backdrop, the results we are announcing today are in line with our expectations.”
Looking ahead Marks said the group did see signs of any real improvement in the economy but would continue to invest. Marks added that the group would find it difficult to match the record profits we achieved in 2010.
The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, operating 5,000 retail outlets. It is Britain’s fifth largest food retailer and its other businesses include funeralcare, pharmacy, legal and financial services.
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