Cooperative warns of the impact of inflation as sales increase

It came as the funeral retail business continues a transformation plan under newly appointed CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq.

On Wednesday, the company said it had benefited from “early and targeted action” in the difficult economic environment, including a reorganization that shed about 400 jobs last summer.

The group also sealed a £600m deal to sell 132 petrol stations to rival Asda as part of the new strategy.

The Co-op has now reported that pre-tax profit has risen to £247m by 2022, £190m up on the previous year.

He said he would have made a loss but received £319 million from the sale of the esplanades.

The group also revealed that the company’s net debt was reduced significantly to £333 million from £920 million as a result.

Meanwhile, the group’s revenue was £11.5bn last year, up from £11.2bn in 2021, although it said there was a £150m reduction caused by the deal of the esplanades.

Ms Khoury-Haq said: “It is clear that our early action to significantly reduce our debt, improve our cash position and tighten cost controls has made a significant difference to the financial strength of our cooperative and has enabled us to look ahead forward with confidence.” , despite continued market uncertainty.

“We now have an even better foundation on which to grow our business.

“We are also looking to grow our membership, putting membership at the heart of our cooperative, with ambitious plans to attract new members and deepen relationships with our existing members.

“We will continue to bring our vision to life to make a genuine difference for our colleagues, members and communities in these challenging times.”

The new executive director of the cooperative
Co-op CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq said early action had significantly reduced the company’s debt (Co-op/PA)

The bosses added that they have “confidence” in the group’s continued strategy, but said they “expect the volatile external environment and turbulent economic headwinds, including inflationary pressures, to continue.”

The firm said these costs are intended to “reduce profitability in the short term.”

Cooperative Chairman Allan Leighton said: “The inflationary challenges faced by most consumer-facing businesses are well known, so it is encouraging that our cooperative has achieved this level of performance during the year.

“Our members rightly judge us on the financial and social value we can create and it is clear that we have delivered on both sides of this equation.

“The future focus on increasing membership is vital to ensuring the future success of our cooperative for generations to come.”


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