The Heart of England Co-operative Society has announced a 7.3% increase in like-for-like food sales in its first half trading results.

The society reported a 6.7% increase in operating profit to £2.2m for the 21 weeks ending 16 June, despite the “tough trading environment, uncertainty in the market due to the slow progress in Brexit negotiations, and the falling value of the pound”.

Heart of England chief executive Ali Kurji said: “The first half of the year has proved extremely challenging and there is little doubt that the second half of 2018 will be equally challenging due to the competition in the market place and the impact and the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.

“Despite the difficult economic conditions the society remains in a very sound and strong financial position.”

Overall like-for-like sales increased by 7.32% over the 21-week period.

The society operates a network of 33 food stores across Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.