The Co-operative has seen annual Food like-for- like sales rise by 3.4%, Core convenience LFL sales by 4.3%, with four consecutive years of LFL sales growth now delivered.
Reported Food sales were flat at £7.1bn, reflecting impact of strategy to close larger stores.
Wholesale sales to independent societies were up 7% to £1.7bn, as wider co-op sector benefits from the quality and value of Co-op product range
Under the new Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities plan, the Co-op has already taken a number of initiatives in 2018 in its Food division.
Initiatives to lower prices and broaden offer underway, including:
• £50m investment to reduce prices announced in January 2018, with further pricing reductions planned
• Further expansion of convenience store estate, with 100 new stores planned for 2018
• 'Pay in the aisles' pilot underway to enhance the shopping experience for customers within stores
• Acquisition of Nisa Retail, the wholesaler and convenience retailer, for up to £137.5m. Deal remains subject to regulatory approval
• Agreement to become exclusive wholesale supplier to Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) and the 2,200 Costcutter, Mace, Simply Fresh, Supershop and kwiksave convenience stores across its network from spring 2018. Working with independent retailers to grow their businesses through the provision of Co-op own-brand products to their stores and by offering lower wholesale prices through improved buying power