Swiss retailer Coop has seen profits claw back some lost ground in 2012, against ongoing currency challenges and price pressure in its domestic market.

Coop said yesterday (26 February) that net profits for the 12 months to the end of December 2012 rose by 4.6% versus the previous year, to CHF452m (US$485m). The rise represents a minor recovery following the group’s 37% drop in profits in 2011.

A profits increase in 2012 was achieved despite “persistently high negative inflation, the strong franc and strong competition”, the Coop said.

Price pressure continue to hit gross profit margins in Switzlerland, but the group benefited from its international division.

It added that sales in real terms rose by 1.5% for the year, to CHF27.8bn. Operating profits, or EBIT, rose by 3.4% to CHF737m.

Coop’s results come only two weeks after it was forced to pull its Lazagne verdi alla bolognese from shelves, due to concerns that it could contain horse meat.