Heart of England Co-op is reaping the benefits of a five-year programme which has seen £10m poured into store development.
Trading profit rose 32% to £822,000 on sales up 6% to £24m in the 21 weeks to June 22, compared with the same period last year. Chief executive Richard Samson said it was the sixth successive year the group had posted a record profit. Sales in the society's 35 food stores rose 7.8% to £32m between January 31 and October 2 this year, compared with the same period in 2001.
Samson said the results could be treated as like-for-like because the society had opened only one food store in the past year. Full-year food sales for last year stood at £41.5m.
Heart of England Co-op has ploughed £150,000 profit from tobacco sales into local communities.

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