Scotland business

Scotmid turnover rises but profits flat

Scotmid store
Image caption Scotmid said its first-half results were better than anticipated

Retail chain Scotmid has reported flat underlying profits in the first half of the year, despite good performances from its online and funeral businesses.

The cooperative group said turnover rose by £1.7m to £211.1m, while operating profit fell by £400,000 from the same period last year to £2.2m.

The company blamed the performance on the double-dip recession and poor summer weather.

However, it added that its results to 28 July were "better than anticipated".

The increase in turnover was driven by sales growth from the former Botterills stores acquired by the group last year.

Its Semichem online and funeral businesses also performed well, while its property division "delivered a good consistent performance".

'Very challenging'

Scotmid chief executive John Brodie said, "There is no doubt that the underlying retail trading environment continues to be very challenging as the drawn out recession and the squeeze on household incomes impacts on our customers spending power.

"In addition the poor summer weather added more downward pressure on footfall and customers' feel good factor.

"We had already anticipated the tough trading conditions and strived to meet the challenges head on.

"However, the weather put a significant dampener on performance in June and July, hitting sales in our food convenience store key lines with ice cream, water, soft drinks, salads and barbecue products badly affected."

Mr Brodie said sales of Semichem seasonal products, including sun tan lotions, also suffered.

He added: "However, despite these difficulties the society continues to invest for the long-term and remain focused on the continuous improvement of the society's trading businesses.

"In particular, our food convenience business has not only built on the success of the former Botterills estate, but has also made good progress on strategic projects that will further enhance Scotmid's product range, process efficiency and store formats."

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