heart of england co-op chief executive ali kurji

The society remained in a strong financial position despite ’difficult economic conditions’, said chief executive Ali Kurji

Food sales at Heart of England Co-operative jumped 7.3% in the 21 weeks to 16 June.

Overall like-for-like sales also climbed 7.3% and operating profits moved 6.7% higher to £2.2m.

The growth comes despite the society pointing to a tough trading environment, uncertainty in the market because of the slow progress in Brexit negotiations and the falling value of the pound.

It highlighted its Meriden and Allesley stores for their contribution during the period. It said both achieved performances above budget following an extension at Meriden and a refurbishment at Allesley.

“The first half of the year has proved extremely challenging and there is little doubt that the second half of 2018 will be equally challenging due to competition in the marketplace and the impact and uncertainties surrounding Brexit,” said chief executive Ali Kurji.

“Despite the difficult economic conditions the society remains in a very sound and strong financial position. The society has continued to operate with positive cashflow and the cash reserves will be utilised for profitable projects as and when required.”

Heart of England Co-op’s food division has 32 stores within local communities across Coventry, Warwickshire, South Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.