Food stores at Scottish Midland cooperative are continuing to demonstrate strong like for like sales growth in an increasingly competitive trading environment, said chief executive Colin Bird after posting the group's interim results. Trading profit at the chain, which operates 67 food retail outlets across central Scotland along with funeral and property services, was up 5.1% to £2.9m on turnover up 5.8% to £130.8m. No breakdown of the figures was available but a spokesman said food sales at existing stores had increased "significantly". However, the decision to close all of Scotmid's unprofitable non food department stores added a hefty £664,000 to exceptional items, dragging pre-tax profits down 20% to £1.2m. {{NEWS }}