Scotmid Co-operative has announced a 3.7% rise in annual trading profit to £5.7m, although turnover fell by 3.2% to £371m.

Chief executive John Brodie welcomed the “good end year result” for the 52 weeks ending 30 January, in spite of a challenging marketplace exacerbated by poor summer weather last year.

“The performance of the Society strengthened in the second half of the year with comparable retail sales very positive relative to the sluggish market,” he said.

“However, one less week and the impact of some store closures saw total turnover reduce but we recorded a notable strengthening of our balance sheet with net assets now in excess of £91m.”

He warned that the introduction of the National Living Wage would have a significant impact over the next few years, especially on the food business and in context of the current retail market.

Projects progressed during the year included the rollout of in-store bakery counters to a further 24 stores, while the artisan bakery Breadwinner is now ranged in 20 stores. The ’Kitchen’ food-to-go concept was trialled in three stores.

The merger with Seaton Valley Co-operative was completed in October, adding two more food stores to the estate and strengthening the Society’s position in the North of England.