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Continued progress and growth for The Co-operative Group


Financial and operational highlights

* Strong performance across the Group, driven by continued investment
* Balance sheet strong and cash position well managed
* Somerfield and Britannia integration processes on track and progressing well
* Root-and-branch overhaul of the business continues with ongoing investment in the brand and transformation of the entire estate
* Food business delivers strong result in tough market conditions
o Sales up 11.5% to £3.9bn
o Underlying trading profit up 12.6% to £169.7m
o Total like-for-like sales down 1%, impacted by disruption of Somerfield integration
o Like-for-like food sales in rebranded and refitted stores up 2.5%
o 2,500 food stores converted to new brand including over 50% of Somerfield stores
o Fairtrade made available to millions more shoppers at Somerfield as part of the range integration programme
o 1 billion less carrier bags given away in stores over past three years
* Financial services business produces strong result
o CFS Operating profit up 34% to £109.3m (£81.4m)
o CFS total deposits up by £1.4bn
o New general insurance policies up 32%
o Like-for-like mortgage applications up 31%
o Total impairments down 41%
o Customer funding ratio strengthened further to 110%
o Core products aligned across Co-operative and Britannia channels

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Social goals

* The Co-operative ranked top retailer and financial services business in the Sunday Times Best Green Companies
* Co-operative Food named The Grocer “Green Supermarket of the Year”
* The Co-operative Financial Services named the Financial Times “Sustainable Bank of the Year”
* £21m committed to inspiring young people, including the launch of a new Apprenticeship Academy and Truth About Youth grants programme
* Roll out of Co-operative Enterprise Hub - £5m to support the development of UK co-operative businesses

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Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive, said:

Peter Marks“The Co-operative Group has delivered another strong performance over the past six months, with continued growth in both revenue and underlying profits - the result of our strategy of investment in our businesses, our brand and our people. Over the last three years The Co-operative Group has been transformed, underlining the strength of our ownership model which allows us to invest through economic cycles, in the long-term interests of our members and our customers.

“Our period of extensive expansion has included the acquisition of Somerfield to bolster our food business and the merger of our financial services arm with Britannia. We have made further significant progress in the integration of both businesses in the first half. This consolidation will continue through the rest of this year, with a strong focus on ensuring that we continue to drive efficiencies and make the most of the opportunities that come from operating across a number of business areas. The work already done, combined with the various innovations and initiatives being undertaken in our businesses, will strengthen the Group and enable us to put even more space between us and our competitors.

“As anticipated, 2010 has been challenging so far, with tough economic conditions across all our businesses. Looking ahead, however, we do not expect things to improve until late 2011 at the earliest. Our focus, as ever, is on our customers and our members; ensuring that we drive our value message through every aspect of our business to their advantage. We are confident that our unique approach to business – combining value with values – will enable us to continue to make solid progress.”

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Additional information

* Business review
* Social Goals
* Financial overview and outlook

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The Co-operative Group:
Martin Henderson 07770 925 959
Russ Brady 07880 784 442

Tulchan Communications:
Susanna Voyle/Lucy Legh 020 7353 4200

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*The current year result represents a 26 week trading period compared with a 28 week trading period for last year.

** Underlying Group operating profit measures the normal underlying business performance and removes from operating profit the following volatile or one-off costs: property disposal profits, investment property valuation fluctuations, significant items, fair-value amortisation, Financial Services Compensation Scheme levies and short-term investment fluctuations.

*** Underlying profit before payments to members is underlying Group operating profit less underlying interest (interest excluding fair value movement and other net financial income) plus the Group’s share of the operating result of associates and joint ventures.


 Co-operative Group
 Co-op Group

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