The East of England Co-operative says an increase in cash flow will enable it to continue with its ambitious investment plans for the business despite a dip in profits due to a tough economic climate.

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The Society’s turnover of £180.5million is down 6.1 per cent compared with last year and its underlying trading profit of £5.6m is down £1.3m compared with last year.

But it says the results have come as no surprise and, despite tough times, it remains focused on expanding the business using acquisition opportunities.

The interim results for the first half of the financial year show that the trading operations for the largest independent retailer in East Anglia produced a “healthy” net cash inflow of £13.8m, which generated a £2.7m increase in cash.

The society said the increase has enabled it to invest more than £6m in expanding its business. As a result of this investment the consumer co-operative, which is owned entirely by its members including customers, employees and the local community, has increased its members’ funds by over £2.5m to £242.3m since the end of the year.

Doug Field, Executive Officer - Finance and Technology, said: “We anticipated both difficult trading conditions and the dip in this year’s profits as the economic climate remains tough. Every sale and penny of our £5.6m profit has been hard won.

“We remain focused on creating a modern, customer-focused Society that is built on quality, profitability and social responsibility. It has been a productive first half of the year in terms of meeting our ambitious growth plans and we have continued to embrace our Co-operative values by supporting and investing in the local communities in which we operate.”

The East of England Co-operative Society’s highlights from the last six months include:

· The opening of a new £3.5 million supermarket in Wickham Market, Suffolk

· The investment of nearly £1million in the renovation of the Society’s Earls Colne store in Essex and over £300,000 on the refurbishment of the North Earlham store in Norwich

· Providing a lifeline for the village of Walberswick by acquiring The Tuck Shop, the village’s only local store, to save it from potential closure

· The launch of the Society’s Regional Investment Fund which will support new and growing businesses in the East of England

· The donation of £30,000 to three neonatal units across East Anglia to help buy new, specialist ventilator equipment for babies in intensive care

· The launch of a collaboration with the Ambulance Service which will provide 100 potentially life-saving defibrillation machines at rural locations across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex

The complete interim report is available on the East of England Co-operative Society website at www.eastofengland.coop

9 comments

  • nrg = not really got (it)? Oh dear nrg, you don't seem to like facts do you? Profits, even when reduced (heard about the recession yet?) are not losses...they are still profits. Your latest erroneous nonsense relates, inaccurately, to the Co-op Group, not the East of England Co-op. They are different co-operative businesses, of which there are many thousands across the country, including the John Lewis Partnership. Many millions of customers shop with the Co-op across the UK every week - it's the 5th largest food retailer in the country, so these people must all be 'loaded' as you put it, to wish to pay such high prices....what a load of twaddle you have written! And no doubt you would hate to share the profits if you joined the Co-op as a member & shopped there, as people have done for more than 150 years - if they would allow you to join...!

    Report this comment

    The Main Man

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Well said Oldowl - agree 100%. The likes of Tesco have no social conscience, just interested in destroying small town centres with their 'one stop' shopping.

    Report this comment

    Tractorboy

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Because the Co-Op took away my local Post Office I will not use them and take my business elswhere.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Norton

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • main man, guess you suffer from no FT, no comment syndrome, this pricey outfit profits dipped by a third, according to figures released in August. PPI claims and p*sspoor food sales are taking their toll.... source FT

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • LLCK, the co-p is fine for people like yourself who are loaded and dripping in cash. The facts speak for themselves, losses and dearest food prices -petrol, is a recipe for going under...bye,bye co-op!!!

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Stuff shopping at the co-op, too dear and they also charge you for the bags for carrying the highly priced goods in. I hope they go under!!!!

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Monday, November 12, 2012

  • I think the Co-Op is of the few decent businesses going in this God-forsaken country. I salute them and wish them luck and thank them for investing in local communities and businesses.

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Nrg - did you say bye bye to a brain? The Co-op is owned by its customers, who wouldn't shop there if they didn't want to, & far from making losses, makes millions of pounds of profit each year, much of which is shared with its members & local good causes. Unlike Tesco & others...which no doubt you prefer. It's survived very well through the recession that you maybe were not aware of ...

    Report this comment

    The Main Man

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  • Fortunately what you hope for will have no influence on anything. I like the Co-Op and don't find them that expensive. Furthermore, I bring my own bags, so that aspect doesn't concern me.

    Report this comment

    LLCK

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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