Sales for the company dropped 4.6% to GBP3.7bn

Sales for the company dropped 4.6% to GBP3.7bn

UK retailer The Co-operative Group today (25 August) reported a slide in profits from its food stores in the first half of 2011.

The Co-op booked a 21.1% fall in underlying operating profit from its food arm to GBP135.4m for the 26 weeks to 2 July. Sales dropped 4.6% to GBP3.7bn.

The convenience store retailer said the performance of its food business "reflected an increasingly tough market" and an "aggressive promotional environment".

Chief executive Peter Marks said trading conditions in the UK were the "worst I have seen in 40 years of retailing" and insisted that "against this backdrop, the results are in line with expectations".

He added: "Looking ahead, we do not see signs of any real improvement in the economy and we are planning accordingly to help our customers, as much as possible, through this difficult period. Given the outlook and our determination to continue to invest through the cycle, we will find it difficult to match the record profits we made in 2010; but I remain optimistic. Our ownership model means that we can take a long-term view and we are as driven, determined and ambitious as ever to modernise our business."