Co-op Posts Record Annual Results On The Back Of Strong Food Sales

The Co-operative Group has reported record sales and profits for 2009 driven by a strong performance in its food business.
According to preliminary results for the 51 weeks to January 2nd, 2010, group sales rose 31 per cent to £13.7 billion while trading group sales jumped 37 per cent to £11.6 billion.
Underlying operating profits before significant items was up 20 per cent to £473 million, with profits before payments to and members soared by 85 per cent to £402 million.
Britain’s largest mutually-owned retailer said its performance was mostly due to the acquisition of the Somerfield supermarket chain in February 2009, a move which turned the Co-op into the UK’s fifth largest food retailer with 3000 stores.
The takeover of Somerfield boosted revenues its food business by £3 billion to £7.5 billion, while like-for-like food sales rose 5.5 per cent on the previous year.
Commenting on the annual figures, Co-op chief executive Peter Marks said: “These are record results in what has been an historic year for The Co-operative Group.”
“Our business has continued to thrive in spite of economic pressure, and I am pleased to report that we are on track with the integration of both Somerfield and Britannia building society .”
“Our food business continues to go from strength to strength following the acquisition of Somerfield. We now run almost 3,000 community food stores and we have a store in every single postal area in the UK bar one.”
However, he added that sustaining the group’s current level of success would not be easy, with “economic pressures” expected to continue until the end of 2010 or the first half of 2011.