MIDLANDS Co-op has announced record results for the eighth year in a row.
For the year ending in January, trading profit was £ 15.3 million on gross sales of £ 717 million and a turnover of £ 546 million. Profits after finance costs have increased by 22 per cent.
Society Chief Executive, Willie Tucker commented: "2003 has been a year of real progress in more than pure financial terms.
"Highlights include the integration of 30 Alldays stores into our food-retailing portfolio, taking the total number of trading outlets across all business areas up to 355, including the two new foodstores in Stafford and Birmingham, which launched just prior to Christmas.
"Unquestionably, the high point of the year was the re-introduction of Dividend to our 115,000 members, who have each received a new ?members card' and will share in the society's success by collecting dividend points on purchases."
Added Mr Tucker: "2004 will see further progress on this new stakeholder strategy, with both employees and the local community set to benefit.
"The year ahead will also see capital investment of a further £ 40 million ensuring that the society takes advantage of viable expansion opportunities across all of its business areas.
"Work is already well underway on bringing new stores to Eccleshall in Staffordshire and Kibworth Beauchamp in Leicestershire, and major refurbishment work is planned in the non-food sector too as improvements are made to the Department Store in Stafford."
Midlands Co-op is the UK's third largest retail co-op with 355 trading outlets across the Midlands region.
It is also the Midlands largest independent travel agent, funeral director, the UK's largest regional dairy operator and controls an extensive property investment portfolio.
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