LEEDS Co-op has announced record results for the year ending January 10th.
Net profits after tax exceeded £ 1 million for the year, up 56 per cent on the previous year. Trading profits were also strong – up 43 per cent.
Total turnover reached £ 75.1 million, with particularly strong performances from the society 's food shops and travel agencies. The co-op's net assets at £ 22.4 million rose by 12 per cent during the year and members' share capital at £ 2.6 million was up 8.9 per cent. Nearly 1,000 new members joined the society.
Leeds Co-op Chief Executive Alan Gill told the News: "This is our best result for some 30 years and although we are well aware that we still have a long way to go to achieve our overall financial objectives, this result continues the improvements we have made in the last six years.
"We are particularly pleased that this increase in profits goes alongside an increase in membership. Attendances at members' meetings also increased and the proportion of members voting in last year's postal ballot for the election of directors went up from 24 to 27 per cent."
The society's 18 food stores had a total turnover of £ 35 million, up by 4.8 per cent. Negotiatiions on three new sites for convenience stores are currently under way and the society hope they will come on-stream later this year.
The society's travel division achieved a turnover of £ 33.4 million despite the difficulties caused by the Iraq conflict and the SARS virus, while property rental income increased by 18.8 per cent to £ 820,000.
In the funeral division, total turnover at £ 3.8 million was 1.4 per cent up over the previous year despite the falling death rate, while the turnover from five opticians' branches reached £ 926,000 – an increase of 4.4 per cent.
During the year, society employees were again involved in helping the community across a wide range of activities and many did this in their own time as well as using paid time off under the Community Day Scheme.
Employees also raised a staggering £ 28,945 for the NSPCC through a variety of activities including £ 2,000 on Yorkshire Day alone.