Delight as Co-op profits increase

A MAJOR East Anglia retailer has announced increased food sales for the third successive year.The East of England Co-operative Society's “like-for-like” food retail sales increased by 5.

EAST of England Co-op today joined the fightback with a vengeance - posting a 10 per cent increase in profits despite the recession.

The Co-op, which moved into its new Wherstead Park headquarters earlier this year, saw its food sales increase by nearly six pc and overall turnover go up by 3.2 pc

Richard Samson, chief executive, said: “2008 was an exceptionally difficult year, which took its toll on many of our competitors and trading has been challenging in several of our own businesses.

“In spite of this, we have been able to show an overall increase in underlying trading profit of more than �1 million to �11.4 million.


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“The roll out of the East of England brand identity to food stores and supermarkets, plus store refurbishments and competitive pricing, has met with considerable success.

“Our refurbished stores have recorded significantly increased sales and our customers clearly value the service and convenience these local stores offer.”

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The Members' Dividend payout of �4.2 million was approved on May 16, giving consumers 2.5p in the pound back on qualifying purchases.

Mr Samson added: “I would like to thank our members for their continued support and my colleagues across the Society for their excellent efforts in achieving a good trading result in a particularly difficult year.”

The Felixstowe town centre store was updated and re-branded, and the pharmacy in Nacton Road, Ipswich, was refurbished.

Other improvements included the introduction of locally sourced products, and new funeral vehicles.

The Society has also reduced the number of plastic bags it has issued and has made a significant investment in a loose plastic processing system to limit landfill demands.

The Society's business activities include food stores and supermarkets, department and home stores, jewellery, travel, pharmacy, optical and funeral branches, petrol forecourts and motor dealerships.

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