Retailer Midlands Co-operative Society has posted “strong” results months after revealing hundreds of jobs were being axed because of store closures.
The society has revealed sales in continuing activities of £670 million for the year to January 26, up 2.9 per cent, on the year before, while trading profit in continuing businesses, before exceptional items, rose by 3.4 per cent to £24.3 million.
That came despite the society revealing in January that nine stores would close as a result of the closure of its fashion and home operation, putting up to 388 jobs at risk.
Unveiling the annual accounts, chief executive Martyn Cheatle said the society maintained its “resilience and financial strength” in spite of economic challenges with an increase in trading profit.
He said: “It’s two years since Midlands Co-operative Society launched its five year ‘One Vision’ strategy which is underpinned by our core values, and we have already achieved many of our business objectives.
"Over the last year we have added 18 new sites to our portfolio resulting in an additional £75 million in annual turnover and creating 300 new jobs.
“We’ve also improved our sales and trading profit in continuing business, invested significantly in the future of our core businesses and paid out over £4 million to our stakeholders.”
Midlands Co-operative Society is the parent group for its food stores, funeral directors and vehicle servicing garages in the region.
It made payments of £4.3 million to stakeholders last year, which represented a record figure and was up 7.9 per cent year-on-year. The group invested £30.7 million opening 15 retail stores and three funeral homes.
However its fashion and home business has suffered and was closed following a “deterioration in trading performance”. The announcement meant closures in Stafford, Long Eaton, Coalville and Derby, among others.
However, with stronger performances elsewhere Mr Cheadle said it had been a “robust” performance.