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Co-op Group’s £247m profit a qualified success

Shrine Khoury Haq

The Co-operative Group has reported both increased revenue and profit for the year, and says it is “looking forward with confidence” despite “market uncertainty.”

The group reported revenue of £11.48bn for the financial year to December 31, compared to £11.15bn the prior period. That resulted in a pre-tax profit of £247m in 2022, an improvement on the £190m profit seen in the previous year.

The Co-op did, however, temper the good news by saying that it would have made a loss without some extraordinary measures, including making a £300m+ profit from the sale of its 132 petrol forecourts to the Issa Brothers’ Asda and cost-cutting measures including around 400 job losses last summer.

Chief executive Shirine Khoury-Haq said: “It’s clear that our early action to significantly reduce our debt, improve our cash position, and tighten cost controls has made a significant difference to the financial strength of our Co-op and has enabled us to look forward with confidence, despite continuing market uncertainty.”

The business’ food, legal and funeral divisions saw an increase in revenue, while its insurance division reported a fall in income from £34m in 2021 to £24m last year.

The board added in a statement: that it will continue to grow the business both physically and online, and “ambitiously” grow membership while “maintaining financial discipline and deliver(ing) on our vision of co-operating for a fairer world.”

“We now have an even better foundation upon which to grow our businesses.

“We’re also looking to grow our membership, putting membership at the heart of our Co-op, with ambitious plans to both attract new members, and deepen relationships with our existing members. And we will continue to bring our vision to life to make a genuine difference for our colleagues, members, and communities through these challenging times.”

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