The Co-op distributed a whopping £79 million back to co-op members and their communities in 2018.
One of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, the Co-op is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer with more than 2,500 local, convenience and medium-sized stores. Its financial returns for 2018 reveal that total revenue is up 14% from 2017 figures to £10.2bn, with pre-tax profit up 27%.
Steve Murrells, Chief Executive of the Co-op, said: "Over the past year we have continued to successfully transform the Co-op, leading to a 14% increase in revenues to £10.2bn and the return of £60m directly to our members and £19m to over 4,000 community projects across the UK.
"The acquisition and integration of the Nisa wholesale business has been a game changer in expanding our food footprint and we have also set out the path by which we can offer our members a broader range of compelling Co-op solutions in insurance and health.
"We continue to demonstrate that the Co-op is a good business that does good for society as we lead on issues including single use plastics, funeral affordability and social housing.
"It is this determination to make a positive difference for all of our stakeholders which will ensure that we fulfil our ambition to build a stronger co-op and stronger communities.” Steve Murrells, Chief Executive, the Co-op
Like-for-like revenues grew in food (+4.4%) and the Co-op has now enjoyed five consecutive years of like-for-like revenue growth. Profit before tax from continuing operations was up 27% to £93m.
The Co-op's Local Community Fund helped "every part of the UK" - returning more than £19m to 4,087 local causes, with each receiving on average more than £4,500.
The UK's biggest co-operative retail society also reported growing engagement in campaigns - including the Local Community Fund - with sales to our members growing to 35% of total sales. And the strengthened our commitment to UK farming and British produce with 100% of our fresh and frozen meat now coming from British farms.
Allan Leighton, Independent Non-Executive Chair of the Co-op, said: "In these uncertain economic times we have the opportunity to demonstrate that the Co-op Way of doing business has never been more relevant than it is today.
"With the continued support of our colleagues, members and communities, I have no doubt that we will thrive in the years ahead. I am confident and excited about the path we are following and the greater social impact we can create for our members and their communities."