Co-op has announced its results for the 52 week period ending 1 January 2022.
Total group revenue was up £0.3bn to £11.2bn against pre pandemic levels (2019: £10.9bn), down slightly year-on-year, reflecting unprecedented Covid-related sales in 2020 (2020: £11.5bn) and impact of significant supply chain disruption and system transformation in Food in H2 to support moves to an increasingly multichannel offer.
Profit before tax was £57m, up £33m on pre pandemic (2019: £24m); down £70m on last year (2020: £127m). A one-off £99m gain was made from early settlement of the Group Relief Liability owed to Co-operative Bank PLC.
More new members were recruited than in the previous two years – 517,000 (2019: 470k) (2020: 445k); with almost two fifths (39%) aged 35 and under.
£21m was shared with members through member rewards and £10m in total saved by members by redeeming digital offers.
The group supported members and customers in the cost of living crisis, with an £8.7m investment across 102 Honest Value products, absorption of supplier inflation on key products in our Food business, and holding prices in the Funeralcare business.
A milestone of £100 million of funds was reached, shared with local communities, causes and charity partners over the last five years.
More than 1 million members selected a Local Community Fund cause to support in the last round of funding.
More than £4.5m was raised in 2021 through partnerships with Mind, Inspire and SAMH, supporting over 8,000 people to increase their resilience and mental wellbeing.
Co-op launched two major new colleague policies – a domestic violence policy and pregnancy loss policy.
A key focus was on colleague safety through the ‘Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities’ campaign, investing in new technology and training, and successful campaigning for better protection in law for shopworkers against violence.
The group launched a 10-Point Climate Plan, with significant commitments, including reaching net zero by 2040 and an ambition to be the world’s first food retailer to produce carbon neutral own brand food and drink by 2025.
Allan Leighton, Chair, Co-op said: “The past year has been a challenging one for our Co-op, but we continued as planned with our investment strategy to strengthen our Co-op’s future state.
“I would like to thank our colleagues across the business whose passion and support continues to inspire and drive us forwards.
“We would all like to thank Steve Murrells for his outstanding contribution to our Co-op over the past 10 years and congratulate Shirine Khoury-Haq on her appointment.
“The economic headwinds look stark and will be tricky to navigate but through our continued planned strategic investments our Co-op is well placed to ride out the storm and prosper beyond.”
Shirine Khoury-Haq, Interim Chief Executive, Co-op commented: “The Co-op is a business designed for the long term and that is the path we are on. The last year has seen us facing some significant challenges, including significant supply chain issues in the second half coming at the same time as our Food business transformation and increasing inflationary pressures. The difficult operating environment disproportionately impacted our Food business, given its focus on the community convenience market, with an operating model that is more reliant on flexibility in the supply chain.
“The Co-op remains uniquely positioned. We continue to be driven by our vision of co-operating for a fairer world and have a platform of businesses in the right markets to drive change, and get closer to our members, customers and communities. The significant investment we have made across our business in recent years now provides the basis for us to move forwards in a more efficient manner.
“As we look ahead, our focus must be on accelerating growth in our Food business through our four routes to market, whilst expanding our Life Services businesses, from Funeralcare to Insurance and Legal Services. We must also ensure our businesses are there for our members, customers, communities and suppliers who are experiencing the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, as we continuing to focus on our Honest Value range in Food and affordable services across Life Services.
“I am delighted to be leading this unique business and look forward to working with all our colleagues to take our Co-op to the next phase of its development.”