Heart of England Co-operative Society has posted record half-year results.

Like-for-like sales in the 21 weeks to 12 June rose 3.1%, the society said, from £30.7m to £31.2m. Food sales rose from £22.6m to £23m.

Despite the sales hike, chief executive Ali Kurji (pictured) said the past 12 months had been the toughest period since the recession began.

“This has been a particularly tough year – much tougher than last – but I am pleased to say we are still in a financially healthy position,” he said.

“However we must not become complacent. Growth has certainly slowed and I am expecting the second half of 2010 to be even more challenging than the first. Fortunately, The Co-operative is a long-established name within our retail communities and customers know it is a name they can trust.”

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