Tamworth Co-op reports trading surplus of £1.5m for 2020

The society’s annual report set out the effects of the pandemic on its trading and financial performance

Staffordshire-based Tamworth Co-op has announced a trading surplus of £1.5m for the year to 23 January, with turnover up 20% to £27.8m.

The society, which operates 12 food stores, and four funeral homes, said the increased turnover reflected the surge in trade at its food business after the pandemic hit in March.

“Our Food operations were affected by a very significant growth in demand and the Food team had to introduce new procedures very quickly to keep our staff and customers safe,” said the society’s annual report.

“Sadly our Funeral team have had to manage a large increase in the number of funeral arrangements carried out. Again, changes in operating procedures had to be instigated on a very regular basis and new ways of communicating with families making arrangements had to be established.”

The report added that comparing the financial results for the previous year are “difficult because of the many one-off issues arising.

“Sales were higher but of necessity staffing costs and expenditure on areas such as protective equipment was also high. Property income declined significantly to £408,000 in the current year compared to £493,000 in
the prior year.

“In the prior year items listed reached a negative of £285,000 but in the current year the equivalent reduction was £40,000. That figure is the overall sum of a number of items which include interest on the Final Salary Pension Scheme, exceptional charges, an impairment charge, other exceptional charges and other operating income.

“That last item is made up of Government grants received of £416,000 and tax credits in respect of Funeral Bonds of £229,000 which gives rise to a total for other income recognised of £645,000.

“That figure is sizeable and leads to an overall surplus before taxation of £1.3m compared to £541,000 in the prior year. Overall Society net assets increased from £13m to £14.2m, and the Pension liability reduced to £7.2m from £7.5m.

“The Board will be spending some time finalising budgets for the 2021/2022 financial year which will be very difficult to assess.”

Two developments during the year were the opening in August of a new convenience store at Dordon, and the announcement of plans to relocate Tamworth College to part of the society’s department store.

“The remaining Ground Floor Department Store operations remain loss-making for the dociety and losses increased in the financial year following the closure periods under lockdown,” the report added.

Payments for the Community Dividend Scheme were brought forward to December 2020 to assist the community groups involved. 13 payments to a total of £10,000 were made to individual groups linked to each of the society’s retail stores.

This year the society is partnering with a number of local schools for the Community Dividend programme.