C-store specialist reports encouraging set of figures for 2022

The Co-op has improved profitability and reduced debt in a strong set of full-year accounts.

The Co-op substantially reduced net debt

The Co-op substantially reduced net debt

The convenience store specialist has reported on its annual figures for 2022, claiming that early and targeted action against the tough economic backdrop has led to a strong operational performance and robust returns.

The group posted revenue up £300,000 at £11.5bn, with underlying operational profit maintained at £100m. Pre-tax profits rose from £57m in 2021 to £247m, while net debt fell from £920m to just £333m.

Food revenue rose by £134m to £7.8bn, with wholesale revenue rising £53m to £1.4bn.

Despite predicting the “volatile external environment and turbulent economic headwinds, including inflationary pressure” will continue, the Co-op said strengthening its financial position early last year had left it well placed despite costs being expected to dampen profitability in the short term. 

The business entered 2022 with targeted cost savings of £50m, increasing to £101m at half year in recognition of the challenging cost environment. 

On the social side, the Co-op noted it had raised £24.6m for local communities during the year, and that it continues to develop its network of relationships with food banks and charities including Your Local Pantry and Hubbub.

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.

“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.”