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Scotmid performs better than expected in first half

Scotmid, Scotland’s largest independent co-operative, said performance in its first half was better than expected despite it being an “extremely difficult and challenging period”.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Scotmid performs better than expected in first half

Scotmid, Scotland’s largest independent co-operative, said performance in its first half was better than expected despite it being an “extremely difficult and challenging period”.

While underlying profits were level with last year after taking into account one off costs, operating profit was £2.2 million in the 26 weeks to 28 July, down £0.4 million on the equivalent period last year. Turnover increased by £1.7 million to £211.1 million driven by sales growth from the former Botterills stores acquired in 2010, as well as from the Semichem on-line beauty products retailer and the co-operative’s funeral businesses.

Scotmid said that the unseasonably wet weather in June and July impacted performance by hitting sales of key lines in its food convenience stores. Ice cream, water, soft drinks, salads and barbecue products were the most badly affected.

John Brodie, Scotmid chief executive, explained: "There is no doubt that the underlying retail trading environment continues to be very challenging as the drawn out recession and the squeeze on household incomes impacts on our customers spending power. In addition the poor summer weather added more downward pressure on footfall and customers’ feel good factor.

"However, despite these difficulties the Society continues to invest for the long-term and remain focused on the continuous improvement of the Society’s trading businesses. In particular, our food convenience business has not only built on the success of the former Botterills estate, but has also made good progress on strategic projects that will further enhance Scotmid’s product range, process efficiency and store formats."

Brodie added: "The economic climate still shows no real signs of improvement and therefore it appears that there will be ongoing uncertainty in the markets in which we operate. However, Scotmid remains positive about the longer term future as we seek new growth opportunities and implement innovative changes and improvements across our businesses."

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