LOTHIAN, Borders & Angus Co-op has announced a profit increase of well over one-third to a record £ 6.8 million.
Turnover in the financial year to 31st January increased by a modest 2.85% to £ 110.3 million. However operating profit rose 37.1 per cent to a new record for the second year in succession, accounting for 6.7 per cent of net sales.
Chief Executive Bob Jamieson said factors such as improved cost control, a stronger emphasis on fresh foods, better use of technology and the disposal of the society's loss-making travel division had all combined to produce this `magnificent` result.
The society also announced that each of its 1,160 full and part-time staff have received a flat rate bonus of £ 200. `These payments recognise the staff's loyalty, hard work and enthusiasm which have been major factors in achieving these tremendous results,` Mr. Jamieson commented.
`Our work force can be very proud of their contribution during another record breaking year.`
The improved financial performance also enabled the society to step up contributions to its Community Dividend fund under which it donates up to two per cent of profit to local good causes. This year, hundreds of organisations throughout its trading areas are expected to share a pay-out of around £ 135,000.
`Investments to improve the quality of our business are paying off for the benefit of our customers, members and staff, ` said Mr. Jamieson. `We are proud of the fact that the society's profit ratios compare favourably with those of the major multiples and we look forward to that trend continuing`.
Over the past seven years the society has invested an estimated £ £ 30 million in refurbishments and extensions to premises.