Co-operative group Scotmid is to invest £20m to ramp up technology at its grocery outlets and at its health and beauty stores SemiChem.

For the year to January 31, Scotmid posted a 32% rise in annual turnover from £223m to £295m.

The society said operating surplus before exceptionals jumped 60% to £8.1m and that the net worth of the company now stood at £94m up 16% on last year.

Chief executive of Scotmid Colin Bird said: “The modernisation of the Society will continue with £20m of capital expenditure being allocated to allow further new technology developments into both Scotmid and SemiChem and obviously give us the financial muscle for future acquisitions.”

Bird noted that during the year the group had made its biggest acquisition that of M&S toiletries. And that SemiChem had produced “robust figures” in the fine fragrance category.