Although the acquisition of the 100-year-old Maltbys business last November accounted for about £6.4 million worth of extra sales, the society said strong performances from across its range of businesses contributed to an impressive half-year performance.
Total sales grew from £117.6m for the six months to March 2009 to £134.9m for this half year. Trading surplus went up to £9,585,000, an increase of £360,000 or 3.9 per cent. Sales in the society’s travel agencies rose by 17.3 per cent and food sales were up 8.8 per cent, aided by a continuing programme of store development and investment.
Pharmacy income from the NHS declined significantly during the half year, but Lincolnshire said they mitigated this by working to increase the total number of prescriptions issued by 5.6 per cent.
A new funeral home was opened in Lincoln and, in the home division, the flagship Lincoln store was given a £500,000 facelift, significantly expanding the furniture offer.
The half-year report pointed out that employees benefited from the staff profit share, which paid out 15 per cent of retail trading profit. The bonus pot has grown significantly this year thanks to a strong trading performance. The society was also awarded the prestigious Investors in People Silver Standard, which recognises the quality of its recruitment, training and the way it treats staff.
During the half year, more than 11,000 new members joined the co-operative, bringing the total membership to over 183,000.
Community involvement included support for a ‘Maths Challenge’ where primary schools turn their local foodstore into a classroom and the annual Lincolnshire Day on October 1st.
Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter commented: “Our members and their communities benefit when their co-operative is successful, so we’re pleased to report that we’ve performed well this half year.
“Welcoming Maltbys to our family of businesses was a major expansion for us. We were delighted to be taking forward a 100-year-old local business which we had worked with closely for many years.”
The society runs over 200 outlets across its trading area including food stores, filling stations, Post Offices, pharmacies, coffee shops, travel agencies, funeral services, home stores and Holland Brothers’ Jaguar dealerships.