Scotmid profits climb by 37%

Scotmid, the largest independent Scottish co-operative, has announced an operating profit of £9.2 million in the year ended January 31st 2009, up 37 per cent from £6.7m the...

The full year results for this period also show pre-tax profit growing from £3m to £9.1m with joint venture income of £2.9m and post-tax profits from £1m to £6.5m compared to the same period last year. Turnover on continuing activities rose from by £22m to £333m and the society retains a strong asset base of £90m.

The society, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary, has built on the success of the last few years through a strategy focussed on “raising the bar”.

John Brodie, Chief Executive of Scotmid, said: “All the society’s trading divisions made good progress growing their profitability and contributing to this overall result. In particular Semichem built on the momentum of last year with its strong value proposition increasingly appreciated by customers in what is a price sensitive market.

“The continued improvement in trading results gives us a firm base to help manage the society through the current challenging economic environment.

“During the year we sold M&S Toiletries our wholesale health and beauty business. This strategic disposal has helped to provide a solid platform to deliver the long term plans of the society.

“I am also pleased to report that further progress has been made in the development of our membership base with membership activity rolled out to a second phase of pilot stores. This will be followed later this year with our new membership branding being implemented in all of our food stores. Our Scotmid and Morning Noon and Night Food stores continued to make good progress throughout the year.”

The society’s discount health and beauty estate Semichem added an extra ten stores during the last financial year, which “helped the business deliver excellent sales and profit growth” according to Mr Brodie.

He added: “Despite the increasingly tough economic conditions, rental income from Scotmid’s investment properties was robust during the year and show encouraging growth. Our funeral division delivered growth in profitability and last December we opened a new Scotmid Funeral office in Armadale, West Lothian.

“This has been a difficult year for many British businesses and organisations with the disappearance of so many well-known high street names. It is particularly pleasing therefore that, 150 years on from those brave co-operative pioneers in Edinburgh, we find ourselves in such a healthy condition as we look to the future.

“There can, however, be no room for complacency. We are bracing ourselves for a tough trading year ahead — but we do so from a position of strength.”

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