Scotmid Co-operative has announced a £2.3m trading profit for the 26 weeks ended 28 July 2018, up 16% on the equivalent period last year (£2m).
Operating profit was £1.96m (2017: £2.4m) and turnover rose £3m to £184m.
The society said the result was driven by strong sales figures from its food convenience business.
Chief executive John Brodie said: “Scotmid delivered a good half-year performance – even though the society was facing into a challenging landscape of continued uncertainty and ongoing cost pressures.
“These challenges included the trading environment, cost increases, ongoing Brexit uncertainty and the sluggish retail market, but the biggest factor impacting on the society’s results during the first half of the year was extreme weather – snow with the Beast from the East followed by the hottest summer for 40 years.
“When the sun came out, our food business took full advantage of people changing their shopping habits and that upturn in our food retail business drove the overall Society result for the first half of the year.”
He added: “The background trading conditions for Semichem continue to be challenging, but the trading result improved at the half-way mark because of action taken to reduce costs.
“Semichem’s focus in the first half has been trialling new concepts including the launch of two stores with a greater focus on health and beauty.”
He said the Funerals division had also recorded a strong performance, driven by a significant increase in funeral numbers compared to a difficult first half last year and, as a result, the business saw positive growth.
Residential and commercial property markets have remained relatively robust, he added, allowing the society’s property arm to post another record surplus for the first half of 2018 driven by improved rental income.
“The Society’s new community initiative, Community Connect, has now been extended into all of our trading regions in Scotland and at our upcoming OGMs we will announce nine beneficiaries of the scheme receiving combined funding of £75,000,” said Mr Brodie.
“Our last Charity of the Year partner, Samaritans, received funding of £315,000; taking the total raised for our last three charity partners to over £1m.
“The society has performed strongly in the first half of 2018, despite the very challenging general market conditions with the benefit of exceptionally supportive weather for our food retail business.”
He added: “Clearly we must be cautious when assessing this performance, but the background work on differentiation and cost efficiency measures has continued to underpin a favourable underlying result.
“The likely return to more normal weather will make the second half of 2018 more challenging.
“So we will continue to focus on innovation, effective investment and tight control of costs to continue to make progress in this unforgiving retail market.”