Lincolnshire Co-operative has released its half-year results to 5 March, with sales rising by £7m (4.6%) to £160m this half year.
It says the group trading surplus for the six months was £7.7m, “well ahead of budget”, but lower than the last half year’s £8.5m because of continuing cuts to pharmacy income and rising costs such as repairs, wages and rates.
Food stores saw sales grow by 6.1% – and the Love Local range, sourced from producers in the region, rose 61%, helped, the society says, by a new arrangement putting products with others of their type instead of together in a specific display.
All of Lincolnshire Co-op’s pharmacies achieved healthy living status and the number of prescriptions dispensed went up by 2.1% to 2.8million, says the report.
And sales at the society’s travel branches rose 2.6%.
Lincolnshire says the increased sales performance helped it plough £16m into capital projects including a new travel agency in Retford, funeral homes in Market Rasen and Coningsby and an arrangement office in Caistor. Travel agencies in Lincoln and Grantham, plus a pharmacy in Hull’s Bransholme, were also relocated to new homes.
Large property developments led by the society moved forward thanks to continued capital investment during the half year. The M&S Food Hall in Lincoln’s Tritton Road opened and new businesses – restaurant Cosy Club and Thomas Cook – moved into the refurbished Corn Exchange building in Lincoln’s city centre.
During the half year, donations made through the Community Champions scheme every time a member shops with the society, along with money from the carrier bag levy, raised £108,000 for 167 local charities and community groups.
Lincolnshire Co-op also donated £153,000 to 63 lunch clubs, friendship groups and charities tackling loneliness through Community Champions.
The society saw 12,737 new members join, while its 2,800 colleagues were rewarded with a profit s=finane equal to 65% of a weekly wage.
Chief executive Ursula Lidbetter said: “I’m pleased with this half year’s positive performance. Being successful means that together, we can invest in valued services, community projects and developments which help make life better in our communities.
“My thanks go to everyone who is helping us do that – from colleagues, members and customers to the many groups and organisations we work co-operatively with.”