Midcounties Co-operative has posted a £15.8m trading profit for the first half of this year.

Food sales for the group in the six months to July 23 were up by 2.4%, while overall sales were up by 3.1%.

Trading profit for the group was down compared with the same period last year (£16.1m). However, the group launched Co-operative Energy earlier this year at a cost of £1.3m and without this added cost trading profit would have been up £1m on the last year’s results.

Chief executive Ben Reid said the food market had been “very aggressive” over the past six months, and although he expected this difficult situation to continue, he believed that the Co-op would continue to prosper. 

“It is very difficult to predict when consumer confidence will improve, but we have a real sense that by continuing to concentrate on getting the fundamentals of our co-operative business right we can emerge from this recession stronger,” he said.
“There may be challenges ahead, but there are opportunities as well, and with a strong balance sheet and good profits we are in an ideal position to take advantage of these.”