THREAT TO HUN­DREDS OF JOBS

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS -

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.

Mar­tyn Chea­tle.

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