Scotmid Co-operative profits up 11%

And records highest ever net assets ahead of its 160th anniversary

Scotmid Co-operative has reported a £5.3m trading profit for the year ended 28 January 2019 – up £0.5m (11%) on the previous period.

The retailer, which celebrates its 160th anniversary in November, confirmed the value of its net assets had risen to £103m, its highest ever level. It also recorded turnover of £378m, an increase of £4m on the previous year.

As with other UK societies, sales figures were boosted by the World Cup and the hottest summer for 40 years, while at the same time facing into significant external cost increases, a lacklustre economy and Brexit uncertainty.

John Brodie, chief executive, said: “Our Scotmid food convenience business bore the brunt of the cost increases including business rates, energy and employment costs, but delivered a strong like-for-like sales performance assisted by range improvements and the favourable weather.

“The market conditions for Semichem were very poor, with the Scottish Retail Consortium reporting non-food sales down 2.2% (like-for-like) and Northern Ireland being particularly hard hit by the Brexit uncertainty with the potential for less cross-border trade. In this climate, Semichem did well to deliver an underlying result marginally down on last year with a number of trials underway and hard decisions taken.”

Mr Brodie added that the society’s funeral business had a mixed year but recovered to finish strongly, while Scotmid Property delivered a record trading contribution and a positive asset valuation, in-line with its diversification strategy.

“In line with our core purpose, which is to serve our communities and improve people’s everyday lives, our membership initiative, Community Connect continues to grow – in the last cycle we awarded £75,000 to nine good cause groups across our trading areas in Scotland,” he added.

“Also in 2018, we awarded funding to nearly 1,200 local good cause groups through our Community Grant programme – enabling worthwhile projects to come to life.

“As we head towards our 160th anniversary on 4 November 2019, the society will continue with the continuous improvement philosophy and focus on innovation, effective investment and tight control of costs to continue to make progress in an unforgiving and uncertain market.”