By Steve Murrells – Co-op CEO
Today we’ve announced our Annual Results. You’ll see that our headline figures are strong, showing an increased revenue and profit before tax compared to last year.
Before I get to the numbers, I wanted to start with the incredible efforts of all of you. The way you’ve come together to support each other, our members, customers and communities has been outstanding. Whether you work in a store, a funeral home, a depot, the community, in the support centre or one of our other life services businesses you have always been and continue to be brilliant.
As I reflect on last year and look at our performance, I’m so proud of what has been achieved. Our Vision and strategy, together with the investment and modernisation we’ve made over the last few years set us up well. We were both agile and resilient and have continued to create value for our members by running our businesses well and in line with our Co-op values.
We’ve also been able to do so much for communities at a time when they needed us most. We’ve given more than £12m to charities and communities as part of our Covid-19 response. That’s on-top-of the £15m shared with 4,500 local causes from the Local Community Fund. But it’s about more than money, and our frontline colleagues and Member Pioneers have worked tirelessly to support on the ground too.
The result of your work is that our Co-op had another successful year, but more importantly, we continued to support communities and campaign for the things that matter.
Click below to see our infographics which will show you the headline figures and some highlights from 2020.
Our headline figures are strong, showing both an increase in revenue and profit before tax. This is a great achievement, especially when we’ve been operating against such a challenging backdrop. And in all parts of our Co-op we’ve seen great progress.
Our food and funeral businesses responded magnificently to the challenges presented in helping to feed and care for the nation, our insurance business has evolved and is better equipped for the future and we have continued to develop our legal services business through new digital channels. We have also had to make some tough decisions, like the sale of our health business, which equally performed heroics during the last 12 months.
You can see more from Jo, Sam, Charles and Caoilionn below
I also want to confirm that the Board has decided not to repay the Business Rates tax relief we got from the Government. We will repay £15.5m of Furlough money we claimed and won’t take advantage of any additional business rates relief in future.
This money allowed us to keep the business open to serve our members and communities and at the heart of this decision is the fact that we accepted Government support in good faith, not expecting to have to pay the money back and made business decisions based on that. These were decisions designed to support all of our members and the communities we serve.
I’m incredibly proud of all our efforts and this set of results. That said, our profit has been impacted by the pandemic and rightly we made significant investments to keep colleagues and customers safe and to recruit temporary colleagues. We also committed to investing in pay for front line colleagues and to continue our programme of modernisation, so we are set up for future success.
Our Co-operate Report
As a Co-op, we’re about so much more than just profit, and that’s why we’re publishing our 15th annual today as well as announcing our financial results.
It’s an open and honest account of how we’re bringing our vision ‘Co-operating for a fairer world’ to life, by making things fairer for our colleagues, our communities and members, and our planet.
With the vaccine roll out well underway and restrictions starting to ease, I’m feeling hopeful, but we know the economy has taken a massive hit and that challenging times lie ahead. Covid has had a devastating effect on peoples’ lives and their livelihoods and our Co-op must continue to evolve and respond to their needs.
Now more than ever before, we need to work as efficiently and cost consciously as we can to make sure we can keep doing the right thing for you, for our members and our communities.
We’ve proven our strength and the power of co-operation so many times this year. If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that co-operation works and will be key as we face into the years ahead as we build back better, and I hope different. Although we’ll continue to face tough times ahead, I’m certain we will continue to succeed together in 2021 and beyond.
Thank you again for all you’re doing.
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