Central England Co-op store sign

A Lichfield retailer has posted “positive” interim results.

Central England Co-op – which operates more than 400 food, funeral and floristry outlets – said the half-year results also saw trading profit rise by £4.4million on the same period in the previous year.

The company said members had shared a £2.1million dividend payout.

It also hailed community projects which saw £84,000 distributed via the Community Dividend Fund.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op’s chief executive, said:

“Thank you to our members, for your loyalty and support, and thank you to our valued colleagues across our family of co-operative businesses for making sure our members and customers in the communities in which we serve could access the food and goods they needed, as well as providing consistently high standards of care for the deceased and support to the bereaved. 

“Trading profit of £15.7million was up £4.4million compared to 2019, albeit down versus the exceptional trading seen in 2020.

“We also recorded strong cash generation of £28.8million, continued to invest for future growth with £7.7million of capital expenditure, and distributed £2.1million in dividends to our members, colleagues, communities and other stakeholders.”

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op

Jane Avery, society president, added:

“Our society has continued to perform well. We have not sat on our laurels and taken it for granted that those who discovered us during the pandemic would remain loyal but have continued to innovate and attract and retain new customers.

“What we do, the success we have, is done for and on behalf of our members.

“This model has worked successfully for over 175 years and has been resilient in good times and bad.”

Jane Avery, Central England Co-op

The full interim report can be viewed online.

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