UNITED Co-operatives has reported an impressive first half performance, with turnover up 40 per cent, trading profit increasing by nearly 51 per cent and profit before distributions up over 25 per cent.
Chief Executive Peter Marks praised the society's staff and active members for the contribution they had made over the past year since the merger with Yorkshire Co-operatives last September.
In the 26 weeks to 26th July, turnover passed the £ 800 million mark for the first time and reached a new record of £ 848 million from £ 606 million the year before.
Adjusting for a shorter accounting period this year and the impact of the merger, a fair like-for-like increase in turnover of 4.8 per cent would have been recorded.
This was also the first half year in which underlying trading profit broke passed £ 20 million , increasing to £ 20.5 million from the previous year's figure of £ 13.6 million.
Said Mr Marks: "The figures for the half year are outstanding and show the excellent progress made by all our core businesses since the merger. Our increased strength gives us the power to develop those businesses still further.
"This we will do in the second half of the year and beyond, while recognising that every step has to be achieved by constant effort and attention to the needs of our customers.
"The progress made in the past 12 months would not have been possible without the fantastic support which the Board and management have received from staff and active members."
United President Peter Senior highlighted the attention being given to the society's key stakeholder groups.
He said: "The steady progress of our Active Members' Benefit Scheme and the recent decision to boost our two main pension schemes with £ 3 million of special contributions, allied to the continuing commitment to our Co-operative Foundation, indicate the Board's determination to ensure that the role of members, staff and the wider community in our success is recognised in a tangible way."