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March 30, 2011    

Co-operative Group reports record 2010 performance

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by Kay Murchie

Britain’s largest mutually-owned retailer, the Co-operative Group, has today posted “record” results for the 2010 year.

The group said underlying operating profits before significant items surged 48% to £545.7 million compared with £367.9 million the year before.

Group sales were 10% higher at £13.7 billion.

Earnings at the group have been boosted by its acquisition of Somerfield and its merger with the Britannia building society.

Meanwhile, the Co-operative group’s grocery division, which is now the UK’s fifth largest food retailer said sales grew 4.8% £7.2 billion pounds.

However, the group said it is cautious in its outlook for the economy this year and into 2012.

According to Peter Marks, Co-op chief executive: “Looking ahead, we had hoped to see signs of recovery by the start of 2011, but the downturn is clearly biting deeper than we expected.”

The group said it was increasing dividend payments to its 6.5 million members by 55% to £77.4 million.

Revenues at financial services division were up by almost a quarter, while those at its funeral business were 10% higher.

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