I wanted to follow up Steve Murrells’ message to all Co-op colleagues this morning with a specific update for Life Planning & Legal as our first half results are published.
Our performance shows a significant rise in sales, up by £1m on the same time last year. Our profits are slightly down but that reflects investment we’ve been making for our long-term growth.
As Steve says, we’re now proving that our Co-op is a better and different way of doing business. From January to the end of June we returned millions to our members and championed their communities and the issues that matter most to them. Through the 5% reward, members have received a total of £29m, and through the 1% reward £6m has been raised making a difference to thousands of local causes. And Life Planning & Legal has contributed to creating that new value for our members.
The big numbers
NOTE: This infographic shows only the Legal services part of our business as Life Planning is included within Funeralcare’s performance during the first half of the year.
Our sales were £12m (2016: £11m) with operating profit of £0.2m (2016 £0.6m). Probate and estate planning sales have grown strongly, but operating profit has fallen, mainly due to us investing in the business in preparation for further expansion.
Our business continues to develop new products to help our members’ long-term needs with the aim of developing our Funeralcare branch network as a way to introduce some of our life planning and legal services (will writing and probate in particular) to our members and their families.
Using our Co-op digital expertise, we’ve been championing the need to make will writing more accessible by promoting our online will service. Our customers can now start making their will and LPAs online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We then provide a follow up telephone call with a wills specialist to discuss individual circumstances before the will is put in place. We have also been innovating in our Probate practice with our market leading Consultant tool and we expect to continue the investment in technology to make your lives easier.
We are also making progress with our new partnership with Cancer Research UK, which aims to raise more than £750,000 to support the charity’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
I’d like to thank all colleagues in Life Planning & Legal for your hard work and dedication as we continue to develop our offering responding to member needs and a rapidly changing market environment.