// Central England Co-op’s half-year sales rise £7.7m to £484.6m
// The retailer named new stores and Travel shop expansions for the uptick
// Gross sales reached £484.6m, a 1.6% rise on the previous year
A raft of new store openings has helped Central England Co-op to record a rise in half-year sales in its latest trading update.
In what the retailer called a “highly competitive retail and economic environment”, it reported a £7.7 million uptick in sales to £484.6 million for the first half of 2019.
This helped Central England Co-op to rakes in a trading profit to £11.4 million.
During the half-year period, the retailer opened four new food stores and one funeral service office as well as refurbishing nine other sites.
“Despite facing difficult trading conditions due to fluctuating weather, our society is holding its own in a competitive and challenging market,” Central England Co-op president Elaine Dean said in a statement.
The retailer also revealed its plans to alleviate the potential impact of Brexit.
“Despite facing difficult trading conditions, our society is holding its own in a competitive and challenging market,” Dean said.
Central England Co-op’s new chief executive Debbie Robinson said: “In a challenging market, our gross sales increased and trading profit is in line with budget, reflecting a steady performance for the society in the face of a highly competitive retail environment and uncertain economic backdrop.”
Meanwhile, the rollout of new security measures in its food stores saw the rate of burglaries drop by six per cent and robberies by 30 per cent.
Further investment into new sites and refits are proposed for the second half of the year and in the new year.