Coop Co-op UK

The Co-operative Group's food business has reported a 1.1 per cent decline in half-year like-for-like sales, while operating profits for food fell 1.3 per cent to £117 million.

The results, which were for the six months to 6 July, saw total group revenue fall one per cent, but Euan Sutherland, group CEO for The Co-operative Group, insists the food side of the business is performing 'solidly'. Food profits were at £119m for the same period in 2012.

Sutherland remains hopeful he can turn things around and get the group, which also has a farming division, turning a profit again.

He said: “Having become group chief executive in May, my first few months in the role have been focused on putting in place the recovery plan for the Bank, while also starting the important thinking about the changes that need to be made across the group.

'Central to all that work has been the significant strengthening of the management team and we now have in place the right team at both group and Bank, with the turnaround experience and drive needed to deliver on our goals and implement the difficult decisions that we are faced with.'

The Co-op Bank incurred a loss of £709m for the period as it was hit by impairment charges of some £496m.