The interim results for the 28 weeks to July 28th reveal encouraging progress thanks to good performances in the food, pharmacy and funerals businesses. However Travelcare and Shoefayre — which has now been sold to the Shoe Zone chain — both reported losses.
Operating profits for the Trading Group, excluding CFS and before significant items, increased by £38.8 million to £166.4m.
Peter Marks, Chief Executive of the Group, said: “We have made a good start to the year. During the first half, sales and profits in some of our biggest businesses — food, pharmacy and funerals — were excellent. Our food sales in particular were strong, building on our recent good performance with a like-for-like increase that was well ahead of the market.”
Mr Marks, who took over as Chief Executive when the merger with United was completed at the end of July, said the combined businesses were now in a great position. “With the new top management team in place, we look forward to continuing to drive the business,” he added. “The markets in which we operate remain intensely competitive, but we are confident of making further progress in the second half of the year.”
Full details in the News, published October 2nd.