HEART of England Co-op has announced record interim trading profits of £ 1.244 million ? an increase of 50 per cent on the equivalent figure for the first half of 2002.
Overall sales for the 21-week trading period to June 21st 2003 showed a seven per cent increase for this period, with the society's 35 food stores recording a market-leading performance with a like-for-like sales increase of eight per cent.
Non food stores and the Co-op's funeral homes also continued to increase market share.
The society's unique Member Privilege Scheme goes from strength to strength and now has over 18,000 members on its database.
Altogether, Heart of England has allocated £ 200,000 for local causes from profits from tobacco sales and is believed to be the only retailer anywhere to donate all profits from tobacco sales to charities and good causes.
Chief Executive Richard Samson (pictured) commented: "This is an excellent financial performance and puts us firmly on track for another successful year. Credit must go to our loyal and hard working staff in all areas of our business.
"However, the second half of the year is expected to be challenging and we must strive for excellence in all areas of our operation if we are to achieve an eighth year of record profitability."