LINCOLNSHIRE Co-operative has announced record trading results for its financial year ended September 3 – despite a 5.3 per cent drop in turnover as a result of the sell-off of the loss-making dairy business and closure of Wrights Motor Group
Trading surplus increased to £ 13,241,000, a rise of 8.9 per cent on the previous year. But the annual report says losses in the dairy business and three now closed Rover dealerships amounting to nearly £ 2.5 million impacted on the result.
Net sales for continuing operations increased by 1.5 per cent and the society says very strong results were achieved in the food division and pharmacy with turnover and profitability moving forward strongly.
Good results were achieved from travel and the bakery. The funeral division produced a solid result with an increase in turnover despite a fall in the death rate. More challenging market conditions faced the petrol filling stations, home stores and post offices.
In the society's property business the continued strengthening of yields and increases in rentals added £ 14.4m to property revaluations.
The society's Chief Executive, Ursula Lidbetter, told the News: "Our property investments not only provide a strong under-pinning to the society's results and the amount we are able to distribute to our members but they also give us opportunities for community regeneration.
"This year we refurbished a council shopping parade in Scunthorpe which benefited the council, the residents of the estate and the commercial and residential occupiers of the building.
"We believe we bring a unique combination of community concern and commercial skills which allows us to make a real difference."
The society's profit performance has eneabled £ 3.4m to be distributed to member benefits including £ 2.5m in dividends.
Ms Lidbetter added: "We have supported 758 local charities, and continue with our major charitable support for the Lincolnshire Centre for Grief and Loss, the Lincolnshire Co-operative Development Agency, our Healthcare Fund and Education Fund."
The society continued to expand its services during the year spending £ 18.4 million on capital projects. Four new food stores were developed and four funeral homes were purchased towards the end of the year. The society recruited 8,508 new members during the last year.