Half year results - Sales up 3.4 per cent

Sales at Lincolnshire Co-op have grown by £5m to £165m this half year, with a strong performance by the Society’s food stores leading the way.

Total sales in the six months to 3rd March 2019 went up by 3.4 per cent compared to the same period last year. 

Food stores saw sales rise by 6.5 per cent, with customer visits up by 5.7 per cent to 12.6 million in the half year. This included a successful festive trading period with a record-breaking Christmas Eve. Demand for goods from the Society’s local bakers Gadsby’s went up 4.3 per cent.

Sales growth has enabled Lincolnshire Co-op to invest in valued services and new developments across its trading estate. 

Lincolnshire Co-op uses green power from wind farms and hydro-electric plants and is also focused on reducing energy use. 

The Society has invested in energy-saving technologies like LED lighting and building management systems in food stores. Fridge doors have also been fitted in more than 30 outlets – cutting energy use by around 20 per cent.

It means that energy use across the food business has dropped 1.8 per cent, despite new outlets opening during the half year and more refrigeration being introduced in existing branches. 

Capital projects saw investment of £7.7m during the half year, with new services opening including a food store and pharmacy in Newark Road in North Hykeham, a funeral home in Scunthorpe and the completion of a major refurbishment of Whaplode Food Store and Filling Station.   

Holidaymakers continued to value the independent advice of Lincolnshire Co-op’s travel agencies, with sales up 4.1 per cent.  

Pharmacies looked after patients’ health and wellbeing and fulfilled 2.83m prescriptions – growth of 1.9 per cent in a nationally static market. 

This half year, the team delivered 7,257 NHS Medicine Use Reviews, which ensure people are taking their medication correctly. They also carried out 7,982 flu vaccines, gave 1,297 blood pressure checks and helped 643 people lose weight sensibly through a free weight management scheme.

Severe cuts in the income received for delivering pharmacy and post office services had an impact during the half year, alongside external factors such as rising costs. Group trading surplus was £7.1m, which was ahead of budget but £600,000 lower than last year. 

Large-scale property developments progressed in the half year with Lincolnshire Co-op’s Cornhill Quarter development in Lincoln city centre welcoming new businesses including coffee roaster and wholesaler 200 Degrees, cookware retailer Lakeland and clothing shop Seasalt.

In the autumn, the Society’s Community Champions scheme raised almost £110,000 for 148 different organisations, helping fund everything from equipment for local schools to day trips for health groups. During the winter, financial wellbeing groups benefitted from the initiative with more than £147,000 raised.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter said: “We’re pleased to welcome over 12,000 new members to the Society and attract more customers, particularly considering challenging trading conditions. 

“Our sales performance shows the quality of our offer across a range of diverse businesses. This gives us the confidence to invest in our valued services and keep on using our ideas, energy and resources to work together in our communities on projects that make a difference – from the Cornhill Quarter to reducing energy use in our business.”

Interested in finding out more? Find our Half Year Report for March 2019 here. Or come along to our Members' Day on Saturday 1st June - find details here.


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