Some interesting things that you might have missed.

The September of the Co-operative Group Members Council is fast approaching, after which I'll be blogging my usual thoughts and observations.. In the meantime, I thought I would share some interesting items that have caught me eye recently.

Co-operative Group Half Yearly Results.

  • Group revenue stable at £4.6bn (2014: £4.7bn)
    • Core Food convenience business delivered like-for-like sales increase of 3.3%, with like-for-like sales up 0.8% overall for the Food business
    • Funeral volumes increased by 12%, driven by the busiest start to a year since 2008
    • General Insurance (GI) revenue reduced in line with expectations, ahead of implementation of the new member-focused business strategy
  • Group underlying profit before tax* of £64m (2014: £1m loss), reflecting robust trading in Food and Funerals and improved General Insurance performance
  • Statutory profit before tax of £36m (2014: £9m loss)
  • Investment in the Rebuild is underway
    • Capital expenditure increased to £144m (2014: £97m) as we invest for growth, with 35 new convenience Food stores and 10 new funeral homes opened
    • Corporate costs increased by £11m to £73m, (2014: £62m) reflecting the investment in the Rebuild programme and rising pension costs
    • Net debt at half year reduced to £0.6bn (£1.4bn this time last year) ahead of increased revenue and capital investment planned for the second half. Rebuild target of maintaining net debt below £900m maintained
    • Our pay award of 8.5% for 47,000 front line store colleagues, which was announced prior to the Budget, ensures that we will achieve the Government’s National Living Wage threshold for the vast majority of Group employees well ahead of schedule
    • Increasing levels of investment in the second half of 2015, reflecting our confidence in the plan, will result in lower profitability and increased debt
  • Full-year outcome will reflect investment levels in the second half of 2015 and absence of one-off disposal profits as experienced in 2014
  • New Board in place and held first AGM following the governance reforms approved in 2014
  • New national charity campaign in partnership with the British Red Cross announced as the Group returns to its campaigning heritage   

For fully details click here.

Co-operative Bank results

We own 20.4% of the Bank and it still carries our name, so we should still pay close attention to what is happening to it..  The headline half year result was that it made a headline loss of £204m.

Chief executive Niall Booker said: “Over the first half of 2015 we have continued to make real progress delivering our turnaround plan focusing on reducing our risk weighted assets to increase our ability to withstand economic stress, on making our IT platform more robust and reshaping the Bank around our individual and small business customers.

Full details Click here

Young Member Engagement

The Co-operative  Youth Board consists of twenty young members aged between 16 and 25 years old.  The Boards purpose is to give young members a say in how the Co-operative is run and to give the Group an insight in  what young members want from the Co-operative.  The Board was set up two years ago and we are now in the process of re-appointing 7 new  Board. members. Have a look at the Youth Boards Manifesto by clicking here.

New Websites.

Co-operative Legal Services have just launched a website with an offer for 10% off for members. Takea look at 

The Food business has been busy and with a new"Food Matters website, packed full of interesting information relating to the business.  I found  "Reducing impacts" really inspiring. Have a look at the site by clicking here.

Steve Murrells

Finally in this update, I stumbled across this interview given by  Steve Murrells, the CEO for Co-operative Food for Retail Week. The interview of how well Steve is turning around the Food business can be found by clicking here.

Thanks for reading my blog.  If you would like any more details or have any suggestions about this blog, please drop me a line.


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