Scotmid Co-operative has announced annual operating profit of £6m, down from £6.5m in the previous year, following a strong second half performance.

It posted a small rise in total turnover to £428m in what is “still an extremely challenging market”, driven by a range of business improvement initiatives, support from a loyal customer base and a strong festive period.

John Brodie, chief executive of Scotmid, said the results (for the year ending January 26) were positive in light of the reduction in the rate of supplier rebate received, poor summer weather and increased pension costs in the year.

“A key strategic focus in the year was the investment in business improvements and process developments to enhance Scotmid’s long-term growth potential,” he said. “A good example of this was our process improvement project, which has focussed on the improvement and simplification of business processes to increase the Society’s capacity for future growth.”

He said the launch of the new ‘premium fresh’ format was successful, extending the range of local suppliers and making significant progress in the development of the fresh offer. “Our new in-store bakery counter concept, partnering with local bakers, has also continued to be rolled out with a very positive response from customers,” he added.