MIDLANDS Co-op ? Britain’s second biggest independent retail society ? has announced record sales and profits for the fifth year in a row.
Results for the year ended January 25th show that, for the first time, sales have reached the £ 750 million mark after increasing by £ 34 million from the previous year.
Trading profit increased by six per cent to a record level of £ 14.2 million, compared to £ 13.4 million last time. Other indicators of a healthy financial position include a reduction in net borrowings to £ 6.6 million; retained profit for the year at £ 28 million and net assets of £ 213 million.
Chief Executive Willie Tucker (pictured above) commented: `This is a tremendously pleasing performance when you consider the harsh trading climates that we operate in.
`Our position as the region’s largest community retailer has been strengthened through continued investment, with our community stores recording a growth rate of 12 per cent year on year.
`In travel too we have outperformed the market, with record sales and profits being achieved against an extremely volatile industry background.`
Added Mr Tucker: `It is essential in today’s dynamically changing retail marketplace to have an integrated business strategy which looks and plans for the long term. The direction and investment we have placed behind our businesses and people is reaping its rewards.
`We are one of the strongest co-operatives in the UK and one which has its sights set firmly on expansion. In the last three years we have invested over £ 100 million and a further £ 30 million is planned for this year.
`This embraces development across all areas of the society including the opening of three new retail stores during 2003.`