Scotmid Co-operative delivered a £2.3m trading profit for the 26 weeks ended 28 July 2018, a 16% increase on the same period last year.

The positive performance was driven by strong sales figures from Scotmid’s food convenience business, despite continued and significant increases in external costs, the society said.

Trading turnover at Scotmid increased by £3m to £184m over the same period but the group remained cautious, said chief executive John Brodie.

He said: “Scotmid delivered a good half-year performance – even though the society was facing into a challenging landscape of continued uncertainty and ongoing cost pressures.

“These challenges included the trading environment, cost increases, ongoing Brexit uncertainty and the sluggish retail market, but the biggest factor impacting on the Society’s results during the first half of the year was extreme weather – snow with the Beast from the East followed by the hottest summer for 40 years.”

Brodie added: “The likely return to more normal weather will make the second half of 2018 more challenging so we will continue to focus on innovation, effective investment and tight control of costs to continue to make progress in this unforgiving retail market.”

As part of its half-year trading update, Scotmid also announced that its Community Connect initiative had been extended across all trading regions in Scotland.