This morning we published our annual results for 2017. It’s a chance for us to tell our 4.6 million members how we’re doing as a business, but also how we’re supporting their communities and campaigning on the issues important to them. The results and our plans show we’re creating a Co-op for the future. We’re no longer looking to the past, we’re doing things for tomorrow.
You can read our news release which talks about our work last year, the things we’ve done recently and what comes next.
Here are the big numbers.
There are also messages from Jo Whitfield for Food colleagues, Robert Maclachlan for Funeral and Life Planning colleagues, and Mark Summerfield for Insurance colleagues.
The millions we’re putting back into the pockets of our members, and our investment in communities, shows the value we’re creating and sharing with our members. The success of our campaigns to tackle loneliness and support the survivors of modern slavery – where we’ve led the national conversation – does that too. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this if we weren’t commercially successful.
We’re announcing two new things today
We’re making two exciting announcements today that show how our Co-op is growing and creating more shared value.
We’ve just agreed a deal to buy Simplify Probate, the UK’s second largest provider of probate services. This will strengthen Co-op’s position as the leading provider of probate in the UK and help us achieve our ambition of growing our Funeral and Life Planning business.
Over the next three years we’ll be investing £4m into our Co-op Academies Trust, which will take us from the 12 schools we support now to 40 schools across the North of England. We’re already the UK’s largest corporate sponsor of academies, empowering teachers and young people to work together for a better education and a better community in line with our Co-op values. We’ve achieved big improvements in results and attendance in some really economically challenged areas. Under the new plan, we expect to have more than 40,000 students – that could be a pipeline of future co-operators. A growing number of school leavers have already gone on to our Co-op apprenticeship schemes.
Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities
We’re already doing so much in communities but now’s the time to do even more.
We all know that customers have a choice, but we want them to choose Co-op more often. Not just because our products and services are great, but because we spend our profits helping their communities. That’s our Co-op difference – returning value to our members and communities, not to a few investors in the stock market.
Our new Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities plan is about working as one Co-op and finding the fuel for growth to invest in making ourselves even more competitive, relevant and innovative. Our businesses need to be stronger so we keep growing, and our community efforts need to be focused on the things that matter most to people. The more products and services people buy from us, the bigger role we can play in the communities we’re a part of.
Thank you to every one of you for your work last year, and for your continued dedication to our better way of doing business. With your support, and the support of our wider members, we’ll build a modern Co-op that makes a real difference for our communities now and in the future.