PLYMOUTH and South West Co-op have announced their best trading results for 15 years.
The society's annual report shows a four per cent increase in sales on a like for like basis, mainly through improved performances in the food, funerals and property divisions.
Turnover is up to £ 121 million and the society have reported a trading surplus of £ 2.5 million? a 62 per cent increase on the previous year's figure.
Chief Executive Douglas Fletcher commented: `I am delighted with the results. We have a robust strategy and business plan and our results clearly demonstrate that we continue to move in the right direction.
`A tremendous amount of hard work and dedication from everyone within the society has gone into producing these results.`
Added Mr Fletcher: `We have invested in three key areas; our staff, our society and our infrastructure and these investments are now, clearly, paying dividends.
`We have invested in our staff, through training and development at all levels; in our society through the multimillion pound refurbishment and redevelopment programme as well as the purchase of new stores and the launch of a new Homemaker outlet and we have invested in our infrastructure with projects such as new IT systems which will `future proof` the society and allow us to expand on these tremendous results.`
The annual report shows the net asset value of the business at over £ 49 million, an increase on last year of £ 1.6 million.
Membership is up by 90,000 as a result of the launch of the society's new Dividendplus card which has has resulted in 90,000 additional members signing up.
In total, £ 298,000 has been distributed in dividend payments while an additgional £ 199,000 was handed out in communikty grants.