Food retail like-for-like sales increased by 4.4% and group profit before tax increased to £26m, compared with £14m the previous year. The group also opened 45 new food stores and 10 new funeral homes, creating 600 new jobs.
The Co-op’s £143m takeover of Nisa was approved by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in 10 May 2018. The takeover was approved on the grounds that the buyout would not affect customers due to Co-op being a retailer and Nisa a wholesaler. Nisa currently has 4,000 stores under its name that are able to control stock and price themselves.
CEO Steve Murrells said: “We’re moving forward at pace with our Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities plan, which we set out at the beginning of the year. We know that in order to make a difference, we have to be commercially successful and our performance in the first half shows that we’re delivering on that ambition.
“Our investment in products, price and distribution channels has seen us grow revenue, profit and member value in the first six months. We are also back to responding quickly and decisively to the issues which affect our members and customers.”
He added: “Against a backdrop of increasing national uncertainty, I’m pleased that the Co-op has continued to perform successfully during the first half of the year. It is in these times of volatility that our way of doing business, which gives back to our members and the communities we operate in, becomes even more important.”