A good year for Heart of England

Rising sales and a strong trading surplus have been reported by Heart of England Co-op in its annual results, year ended January 16th.

The society achieved a trading surplus of £4.7 million, reflecting an increase of 10.8 per cent on the previous year. Also, the trading surplus equated to 6.1 per cent of turnover — a milestone achieved by very few retail co-operative societies.

Food sales rose by 4.7 per cent like-for-like, while non-food increased by 7.2 per cent. The funeral division maintained its market share and recorded a modest increase in like-for-like sales.

Chief Executive Ali Kurji said: “There is no question that this country is still in economic turmoil, with government borrowing at its highest and the country in record levels of debt. And the effects of this will be felt for many years to come. 

Here at the society we are pleased to announce we have continued to operate with no borrowings. Not only this but we have continued to invest in our ongoing renewal programme, spending more than £16.7 million between 2005 and 2010.

“Our renewal and rebranding programme will continue in 2010 and beyond. The board of directors have already approved a number of upcoming projects.”

The non-food division reported a 12.6 per cent increase in electrical sales alone. Overall the division reported a sales increase of 7.2 per cent, supported by successful members’ events and discounts.

The society’s funeral division has retained its market share in the region. The performance of the Asian funeral home in Foleshill, Coventry, exceeded all expectations and the new funeral home in High Street, Daventry, has also been very well received. 

As a reward for their work throughout the year the society will reward staff with a bonus as part of its annual profit-related bonus scheme. 

Employees who have been with the society for more than a year will receive 125 per cent of their weekly wage in half-price vouchers to spend within the society. Those who have been with the society for six months to a year will receive half a week’s salary.

Mr Kurji added: “As a society we are only as good as our staff and once again I would like to thank every single member of our team and hope the vouchers go some way to demonstrating our gratitude.”

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