lincolnshire coop

Lincolnshire Co-op recorded ‘robust growth’ and a rise in sales of its local range

Lincolnshire Co-op has reported record sales of £312m for the financial year, up by more than £10m.

Total sales rose by 3.5%, with sales in food stores up 6.8%.

The retailer said the introduction of more chilled food and food-to-go products, plus the results of its store refurbishment programme, had helped towards what it called “robust” growth, despite admitting “tough trading conditions”.

Sales of Lincolnshire Co-op’s Love Local range rose by 22% and it said products from smaller, regional producers were being displayed more prominently.

However, this year Lincolnshire Co-op shut its two food distribution centres in Lincoln to join the national co-operatives’ distribution network. It said the move would provide more choice to food store customers, meet the demands of changing shopping habits, and offer more competitive prices.

Group trading surplus was £16m, down from £20m recorded the previous year due to cuts to NHS pharmacy income and rising pension costs.

The society also invested in a new dividend card, app and systems that it said would improve services for its 280,000-plus members, who are in line to share £1.9m in bonuses on top of the £2.2m paid out during the year - a total of £4.1m.

“There is no doubt that trading conditions are tough out there in many areas of our business,” said chief executive Ursula Lidbetter. “To make sure we remain sustainable, we have to meet and adapt to these challenges and sometimes make difficult decisions, such as the closure of our distribution centres this year. It’s testament to our dedicated colleagues and the support of our members that together we’ve achieved another strong trading result.”