Co-operative Group has just chalked up sales records for two consecutive months following on from strong first half results.

Like-for-like sales were up 4% for the 24 weeks to June 28 as turnover rose 27% to £1.4bn, with strong growth from the society’s Welcome c-stores and market town formats supplemented by the 600 Alldays stores it acquired in October.

Profit before exceptionals jumped 75% to £45.8m, including a £6.3m contribution from the Alldays estate.

Seventy-five of the Alldays stores have since been sold on to other co-op societies.

Chief operating officer for retail Malcolm Hepworth said: "The hot summer helped to drive sales. Period 7 and 8 [July and August] were the best I’ve known."

Hepworth said the conversion of former Alldays stores to the Welcome format was going well, with 130 refits scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, was still due to take three years.

The society is also preparing for the first conversions of the Balfour stores it acquired in July. Hepworth said work would start shortly on six stores including four CTNs.


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