Half Year Results – a message from Jo Whitfield

This morning we’ve shared our half year results (January to June) which highlight our performance so far this year. If you haven’t yet seen our results you can read Steve’s message to colleagues.

The big numbers


View a PDF version of the above image

In Food, we’ve contributed to this success in many ways and following a very busy six months, I’m very happy to share our results – you can see the highlights in the infographic above.

Our like-for-like store sales remain strong, up 3.5%, and we’re ahead of the market by 1.5%. I’m delighted to see we’re outperforming many of our larger competitors. If we look at our convenience stores alone, like-for-like sales are up 4.5%.

We have now delivered 14 successive quarters of like-for-like growth and we remain the fastest growing convenience retailer.

Our total sales in Food (January to June) were £3,476m, slightly down from £3,518m this time last year but this is due to the sale of some of our smaller food stores to McColls which we had planned for. We will be opening 100 new convenience stores this year.

Trading profit has also improved on last year to £65m (2016: £63m). This is a great result when you consider the choice we made back in September 2016 to share our success with our members which has seen Food share £29m with our members through the 5+1 Co-op membership rewards.

As our Co-op’s biggest business, and with the most contact with our customers, it’s not surprising that we’ve led the way in the launch of our new Membership rewards. The majority of those who’ve joined the Co-op this year (500,000) have done so through our Food stores.

Looking at our stores, so far this year we’ve opened 34 and improved 93 of our existing stores, and we remain on track to hit our target of 100 new stores by the end of 2017. We’ve also announced the opening of a new depot in the South East.

Our Co-op difference

In addition to the numbers, we’re also making a real impact through our Co-op difference.

We made the decision to become 100% British and when we say 100% British, we mean it unlike other supermarkets who make this claim. We only sell British bacon and lamb with the Co-op label and only use British sourced meat in our ready meals, pies and sandwiches and sales have already increased by 6% in these categories.

Our commitment to Fairtrade remains strong and we’ve demonstrated this with our switch to Fairtrade cocoa in all Co-op branded products and our Fairtrade sales are beating the market with an increase of 5%.

We’re the only supermarket with an own-brand water (Fairbourne Springs) which supports clean water projects globally through our partnership with the One Foundation and our donations now exceed £8m and have changed over 1.7 million lives.

In addition to this, in April, we signed up as Pioneer Partners to the Global Investment Fund for Water – a partnership with the bottled water sector to end water poverty – and we’re giving £2m a year to this fund.

We’re in a good place

So despite a very competitive retail market we’re in a good place and we’re seeing some great results and we recognise how hard all our colleagues are working to ensure we remain successful.

Our major transformation programmes are all aiming to make things simple for our colleagues and our customers and this year, in our stores, we’ve already seen simplified reporting, stock and cash management processes and over the next two-to-three years we’ll see more of these types of improvements rolled out.

If you haven’t read it yet, I’d encourage you to read the recent blog by Malik, one of our Store Managers, as it gives a real sense of the world we’re working towards.

My thanks to you   

The results show we’re doing all the right things, we’ve got momentum and we’re going to keep improving – it’s a tough market but we’re holding our own and it’s thanks to all your hard work that we’ve got here.

Thank you for all you’ve done so far this year.

Jo Whitfield