Regional co-ops Midcounties and East of England have reported contrasting half-year results.
Midcounties said its sales grew by 12.5% to £436m in the six months to 28 July, largely due to strong growth in its travel, childcare and energy businesses. Operating profits grew from £10.3m to £10.4m during the period.
Its food business also chalked up strong sales, with total sales up 5.2%, or by 1.9% on a like-for-like basis.
“Trading is tough and will continue for the foreseeable future,” said Midcounties CEO Ben Reid. “However, I am confident the strategy we are following, of developing businesses which display a real co-operative difference, will carry us through.”
However, East of England said its profits had slumped 19% to £5.6m on sales down 6.1% to £180.5m in the past six months. Despite this, the society said it would continue to invest and had a “healthy” net cash inflow of £13.8m.
“We anticipated both difficult trading conditions and the dip in this year’s profits. Every sale and penny of our £5.6m profit has been hard won,” said executive officer Doug Field.