Co-op group has slumped to a loss before tax of £132m (after making a £23m profit last year) after writing down that value of its stake in Co-op Bank to zero and changes in the value of the company’s bonds.
On an underlying basis profit before tax slipped from £81m to £59m, due to increased investment in its “rebuild” project to revamp its business.
However, operating profit was up 32% to £148m, driven by £20m profit on disposals, largely reflecting the sale of its crematoria, and lower restructuring costs
Group revenues were also up 3% to £9.5bn, with food, funeralcare and insurance all delivering strong levels of growth.
Food like-for-like sales rose 3.5%, driven by core convenience business, as food “continued to outperform the market”. Like-for-likes at its core convenience stores were up 4.5%.
Total sales food sales were up 1% at £7.1bn, with operating profit up 4% to £203m and underlying operating profit down 2% to £182m as it invested in refitting stores, increasing pay, improving infrastructure and strengthening its food range.
“We’ve made great progress in rebuilding our Co-op, with all our businesses delivering strong performances. While much remains to be done, our Rebuild plans have really started to deliver value for our customers, our members and their communities. That is exactly what the Co-op should be doing,” said The Co-op group chief executive Steve Murrells.