Double-digit increases in sales in several food stores have helped Heart of England Co-op boost its trading profit 14.2% to a record of £4m.

Annual turnover for the group, which has branches across Coventry, Warwickshire and south Leicestershire, reached £77.6m, while like-for-like sales were up 3.3%. Turnover is now 59% higher than it was five years ago.

The food division had been particularly successful, said chief executive Ali Kurji, who attributed overall performance to customer loyalty and ongoing investment.

"We are delighted to have achieved record level of profits in a particularly challenging year," he said.

Work will shortly begin on a £670,000 project to revamp the Foodstore Lateshop in the village of Barwell, Leicestershire. This follows the £668,000 investment in a Lateshop in Coventry and £1.3m spent on refurbs to the Lateshops in New Bilton and Balsall Common food centre.