Radstock Co-op defies tough economy to grow profit and turnover

The society is in a strong position, says the report, but may need to make changes to the redevelopment of its old Radco site

Radstock Co-op has reported an increased operating profit of £661,539 for the year to 24 February, up from £272,548 the previous year.

Turnover rose to £45.8m (previous year: £43.6m) and pre-tax profit was £255,000 (£188,000).

In line with other retail co-ops, the report noted a difficult trading environment with shoppers suffering a squeeze on household budgets but society CEO Don Morris said “careful planning, prudent forecasting and… dedicated operation” had delivered improved results.

The deployment of new tech helped to control costs but pressures will continue this year, warned Morris, in particular with rising labour costs.

The society’s farm had another successful year, added Morris, producing a surplus of £487,000 (previous year: £680,000). Work continues on the farm to drive efficiencies and improve wellbeing in the dairy herd, he said.

Work clearing the society’s former Radco site is now complete but with “significant economic pressures affecting this development and the construction industry in general” the scheme is currently under discussion and changes to the project may be needed.

“The society remains entirely committed to the site and the provision of a store and new homes as part of a mixed-use development,” said Morris. “The society is working hard to realise its plans and I hope to announce positive news regarding this as soon as I am able.“

Membership grew by a net 1,567 t0 22,873 and dividends amounted to £72,500 redeemable at point of sale.

The society partnered with Escape Support Group and In Charley’s Memory, donating £1,100 to each, and distributed £29,000 from the carrier bag levy to local causes. Stores donated a further £3,957 to local charities and more than £6,000 was raised in store for appeals including DEC Turkey Syria, Comic Relief and Macmillan Coffee Morning.

“The society has had a good year in very challenging times and continues in a strong position,” said Morris.