Scotmid Co-op said its turnover increased by £6.7 million to £197 million in the 26 weeks to July 25, and trading profit rose from £2.5 million to £3.1 million.
The performance was driven by Scotmid’s food convenience business — but there were mixed results for the Society’s other businesses.
Scotmid Co-op operates around 300 stores across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England and its businesses include Scotmid Food, Semichem, funeral directors, Post Offices and a property division.
Scotmid Co-op CEO John Brodie said: “This result was heavily influenced by changes in consumer behaviour as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.
“We adapted quickly to the new ways of trading/working during the pandemic and this was achieved for our diverse set of businesses.
“Our food convenience business benefitted from more customers choosing to shop locally.
“Despite record sicknesses levels and social distancing requirements, our front-line colleagues, support teams and supply chain responded to the unprecedented demand levels and continued to serve our communities through the peak of the crisis.
“Positive feedback was overwhelming in appreciation for the store teams.
“In contrast all our Semichem stores were closed for an extended period so even with the benefit of vital government support, its result was significantly down.
“Property income came under pressure and our funeral colleagues went the extra mile in adversity to provide the best funerals possible, in adherence with Government guidance.
“It was really pleasing to see how communities came together during the lockdown with local groups helping the vulnerable.
“Our local suppliers also rose to challenge by helping to keeping our shelves stocked in the crisis.
“We were proud to play our part by responding to hundreds of calls for support from groups facing significant challenges in the wake of Covid-19.
“We donated more than £160,000 to alleviate hardship through a Covid Community Fund in addition to other community funding.
“We worked with our charity partner to provide a free home delivery service to those shielding and also supported a wide range of activity to help food banks, frontline workers, the bereaved and homeless through the pandemic.”
“Last year I highlighted the importance of our continuous improvement philosophy to help guide the Society through the considerable challenges faced from global events, particularly Covid 19.
“In this financial year-to-date the Society has successfully applied this approach to serve our communities in their time of need.
“We have responded in a timely but measured way to the new COVID 19 world but have been flexible, learning from the outcomes and adapting plans accordingly.”
“This, however, is only the starting point because as Government support is withdrawn, the recession is likely to be prolonged, not helped by the uncertainty caused by the Brexit transition.
“So looking ahead to an uncertain second half of the year, it is more important than ever for Scotmid to focus on matters under our control and deliver our core purpose of serving our communities and improving peoples’ everyday lives.”