The boss of the Co-Operative Group has dismissed claims that the mutual model is broken after the food-to-funerals group reported a slump in annual profits. (The Times £)

The Co-op has posted a sharp downturn in annual profit for 2023 as the group flagged record levels of shoplifting and competition from discount rivals. (The Daily Mail)

Despite record levels of shoplifting in its food stores, the Co-op increased profits in its grocery business last year as it signed up 1 million new members and invested more than £90m in cutting prices, including introducing special discounts for members. (The Guardian)

Co-op is to launch a crackdown on a surge in middle-class shoplifting after it suffered a £70m hit from store thefts last year. (The Telegraph £)

Mondi has been given a further extension of almost three weeks to put in a formal merger offer for its fellow FTSE 100 packaging group DS Smith. (The Times £)

The US paper giant bidding for one of Britain’s biggest packaging firms has pledged to establish a European headquarters in London and list shares in the City. (The Daily Mail)

Retail sales have been falling for six months, having dropped again in March, the longest streak outside of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey. (The Times £)

Trade groups have warned that consumers could see a rise in food prices after the UK government announced the introduction of post-Brexit charges on imports of EU food and plant products later this month. (The Guardian)

Rick Haythornthwaite will step aside from his chairmanship of Ocado due to time commitments at NatWest Group, which he will begin chairing on 15 April. (The Daily Mail)

Fast food giant McDonald’s is to buy back all its Israeli restaurants following a boycott of the brand in response to the Israel-Hamas war. (The BBC)