Ten years after it formed from the merger of the West Midlands and the Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester, Midcounties Co-operative has reported an overall 3.1% increase in sales for 2015/16 compared with the previous year.
Food sales were down 2.6% to £562m (2014/15: £577m), but there were 11% increases in both Energy and Funerals.
Gross profit for the year was up to £245.9m (2014/15: £241.8m), but overall profit was down to £4.7m (2014/15: £7m).
Over the year, the society gave £11.9m back to communities, raised over £1.4m for its charity partners and distributed over £44m to its members.
“Despite a tough trading environment in all sectors, I’m pleased to report that in 2015 the Society has continued to make progress on its twin agenda of achieving commercial success and living our co-operative values,” said Midcounties chief executive, Ben Reid. Mr Reid recently announced his plans to retire this autumn.
The society also achieved recognition for its community, co-operative and sustainability work.
As well as receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development, the society achieved a five star rating in Business in the Community’s corporate responsibility index, and were voted Co-operative of the Year for the second year running by Co-operatives UK – “The only co-operative to do the double,” said Mr Reid.
Ruth FitzJohn, president of Midcounties Co-operative, commented: “I think we all expected last year to be challenging, but it turns out we were able to rise to these challenges as we continued to perform. 163 years experience of local trading, celebrating 10 years of Midcounties, a vibrant membership base and a commitment to the long term carried us through.
“As you have come to expect, we measure our success by more than pounds and pence. We want to be a successful thriving business. Not just how much profit, but how we make it and what we do with it are also very important to us all.”