THREAT TO HUNDREDS OF JOBS
Sales have grown at the Central England Co-operative but increased pay for staff has dented profits, according to new figures.
The Central England Cooperative, which has dozens of stores and funeral homes across Peterborough, saw its sales rise by 2.6 per cent to £460.2 million in the first half of this year. However trading profits dropped by £1 million to £11.9 million compared to the previous year largely due to improved pay rates for staff and other cost increases.
The Co-operative also says its year-on-year performance reflects the ongoing impact of intense competition in the grocery sector.
The society, which employs 8,600 people across the region, distributed £2.6 million to members, colleagues and the community.
It also invested £19.2 million in the first half of the year. This has seen the core food business and funeral arm of the Society grow significantly, with further new openings and refurbishments planned for the second half of the year and in 2018.
Chief executive Martyn Cheatle said: “We are encouraged by our progress and have a clear strategy in place to respond to the challenges and opportunities ahead.
“We expect the trading environment to remain challenging and highly competitive for the foreseeable future, but are confident in our Co-operative point of difference which enables us to provide a relevant and attractive proposition to our members.” †Rated highest for travel insurance customer experience–Mintel Report, February 2016. *Price is correct at the time of print based on one person aged 18 – 65 on a Basic policy travelling within 30 days of purchase, excluding medical conditions. Prices vary according to medical condition cover and individual needs. **Based on all quotes given in Jan 2016–Dec 2016. ‡Discount applies to the base premium of a Single Trip policy and not to any medical screening costs where relevant. Terms & Conditions apply. Trustpilot rating correct at time of print. Staysure insurance is arranged & administered by Staysure.co.uk Ltd, an independent insurance intermediary authorised & regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN. 436804. Staysure, a trading name of Staysure Ltd is licensed & regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission No. FSC1238B.