HEART of England Co-op has revealed record profits and increased sales in its interim results announced last week.
The society confirmed that profits were up by two per cent for the financial period to 19th June 2004.
Despite an extremely competitive trading environment, Heart of England reported a sales increase of 5.5 per cent for the period.
Food Division sales demonstrated another market leading increase of 7.1 per cent while the Non-Food Division matched the previous year's sales performance.
The Funeral Division showed a sales increase of eight per cent with Travelcare branches finishing the period with sales in line with last year.
Overall trading surplus for the interim period exceeded last year's all-time record, reaching £ 1.27 million for the first time, and the society's net assets increased once again to a new record level of £ 32.4 million.
In terms of investment in local stores, the society completed a six-figure investment at the Hillmorton Food Centre, which has since achieved sales increases of more than 20 per cent. More than £ 300,000 has been invested in the Co-op store in Royal Leamington Spa. This store is to be re-launched as ?Rooms of Royal Leamington Spa', in line with the successful identity created recently at the society's store in Coventry city centre.
Richard Samson, Chief Executive at Heart of England during the half-year referred to, commented: "We are pleased to report that the interim report shows another record trading performance, although recent sales figures and market trends suggest that the second half of the year will be difficult with the likelihood that overall sales and profit targets could be difficult to achieve.
"However the society is still bucking the trend when compared to the competition, particularly the multiples and most other co-ops."
Mr Samson, who has now moved to Ipswich & Norwich Co-op to take over from Bill Brown as Chief Executive, added: "Heart of England Co-op is in very good shape financially, and I am confident it will continue to prosper and move on to ever greater results in the future."
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