Increases in food sales were one of the major factors responsible for pushing annual turnover at Midlands Co-op above £700m for the first time, according to the society. Food sales within the retail division's 125 stores were up more than 5% for the year ending January 26, at £346m. Chief executive Willie Tucker reported that, in terms of the society's food stores, it had opened a new supermarket in Dudley, West Midlands, and had spent more than £8.5m on more than 20 refurbishment projects during the past 12 months. Work was also started on a new chilled and fresh produce distribution depot in Leicester. Tucker added: "A capital investment of a further £35m will ensure we take advantage of new business and acquisition opportunities." {{NEWS }}