160-year old Scotmid cheers sales hike

Scotmid Co-operative has overcome increased cost pressures to post a rise in annual sales after the hottest summer for decades boosted trade.

The hottest summer for 40 years helped boost Scotmid's food sales. Picture: Contributed

The Society has recorded turnover of £378 million for the year ended 28 January, an increase of £4m on the previous year.

It pointed to last year’s heatwave – the hottest summer on record in 40 years – as a key driver of revenues at its food convenience business, which helped to mitigate the impact of pressures including higher business rates, energy bills and employment costs.

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Group operating profit grew by £300,000 year-on-year to reach £8.3m.

Results at Semichem, the company’s household products division, were marginally down due to poor market conditions.

The group said it is currently conducting trials and has undertaken “hard decisions” to support the business.

It blamed increased competition for a mixed year at the group’s funeral arm, where sales remained flat year-on-year, while hailing a record contribution from its property division.

Scotmid, which is scheduled to celebrate its 160th anniversary in November, also unveiled its strongest balance sheet yet, with assets of £103m.

Chief executive John Brodie said: “This strong result was achieved through the implementation of a range of continuous improvement initiatives and was boosted by the hottest summer in 40 years, all while operating with the background of a lacklustre economy, Brexit uncertainty and the cumulative burden of significant cost increases.”