Strong farm performance boosts Radstock Co-op’s operating profit to £273k

Surpluses from the society’s farm and property businesses offset a trading loss as stores weathered the economic crisis

Radstock Co-op has posted an operating profit of £273k for year to 25 February, down from £370k the previous year.

Gross sales rose slightly to £43.8m (previous year £43.5m) and retail turnover rose to £39.3m (£39m).

In the Somerset-based co-op’s annual report, CEO Don Morris highlighted the economic pressures facing the retail sector, which saw the co-op make a trading loss of £422k, down from a £158k profit the previous year. This was offset by a £680k surplus from the co-op’s farm business and a £14k profit from its property portfolio.

“The investment in the farm proves to be a wise decision and bodes well for the future,” he added.

Morris warned it will difficult to generate increased sales in 2023 as consumers continue to face squeezed household budgets, but said rising labour costs have been budgeted for and the society will be using new tech to make savings through increased operational efficiencies.

Meanwhile, progress is being made on the society’s former Radco site, which was demolished last year to make room for a new town centre development, and is working to expand its retail estate, with investments including self-scan and shelf-edge tech.

Membership of the co-op rose by 1,190 and now stands at 21,306 people, and a dividend of £68,823, redeemable at point of sale, was returned to members during the year.

The society distributed £25k from the carrier bag levy to local causes and raised another £7,500 for causes including earthquake relief through fundraising activities. Another £3,926 was donated by stores to local fundraising events and the society gave £1,100 each to Secret World Wildlife Rescue and Swan Transport.