Scotmid Co-operative said on Wednesday it delivered a £5.3 million trading profit for the year ended January 28, 2019 — up £500,000 on the equivalent period last year.
The Society recorded turnover of £378 million, an increase of £4 million on the previous year, and said it is in a strong financial position with net assets at a record level of £103 million.
These results were driven by strong sales figures from Scotmid’s food convenience business during last year’s great Scottish summer.
Scotmid Co-operative operates around 300 stores across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England. Its businesses includes Scotmid Food, Semichem, Funeral Directors, Post Offices and a property division.
Scotmid Co-operative CEO John Brodie said: “This strong result was achieved through the implementation of a range of continuous improvement initiatives and was boosted by the hottest summer in 40 years, all while operating with the background of a lacklustre economy, Brexit uncertainty and the cumulative burden of significant cost increases.
“The Society recorded turnover of £378m, an increase of £4m on the previous year, and is in a strong financial position with net assets at a record level of £103m.
“Our Scotmid food convenience business bore the brunt of the cost increases including business rates, energy and employment costs, but delivered a strong like-for-like sales performance assisted by range improvements and the favourable weather.
“The market conditions for Semichem were very poor, with the Scottish Retail Consortium reporting non-food sales down 2.2% (like-for-like) and Northern Ireland being particularly hard hit by the Brexit uncertainty with the potential for less cross-border trade.
“In this climate, Semichem did well to deliver an underlying result marginally down on last year with a number of trials underway and hard decisions taken.
“The funeral business had a mixed year but recovered to finish strongly.
“Scotmid Property delivered a record trading contribution and a positive asset valuation, benefiting from letting activity and successful property sales and re-investment in-line with our diversification strategy.
“In line with our core purpose, which is to serve our communities and improve people’s everyday lives, our membership initiative, Community Connect continues to grow – in the last cycle we awarded £75,000 to nine good cause groups across our trading areas in Scotland.
“Also in 2018, we awarded funding to nearly 1,200 local good cause groups through our Community Grant programme – enabling worthwhile projects to come to life.
“As we head towards our 160th anniversary on 4 November 2019, the Society will continue with the continuous improvement philosophy and focus on innovation, effective investment and tight control of costs to continue to make progress in an unforgiving and uncertain market.”