Lincolnshire Co-op tops £300m sales in record year

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Lincolnshire Co-op has revealed a record year of business, breaking £300 million of sales for the first time.

The 2015/16 financial year saw the society’s sales rise by £9 million to £301 million and trading surplus go up by 4% to £20 million.

Society members and employees will also benefit from the success, receiving a share of the profits in dividend.

This year’s positive trading result means members who go to the society’s annual meetings in November will be asked to approve a dividend bonus of 85p per £1 of dividend collected during the year.

If given the go-ahead, members will share £1.6 million in bonus on top of the £1.9 million paid out during the year – a total of £3.5 million. It’s an average return of 3.1% to each member on the value of their shopping.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s 2,900 colleagues will also benefit from an extra week and a half’s wages.

Food stores saw sales rise by 6.9%. Local goods continued to prove popular – with Lincolnshire Co-op’s own bakers Gadsby’s, based in Southwell, increasing sales by 7% and sales of the Love Local range, featuring local meat and goods from small producers, going up by 9%.

Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacies also saw a rise of 3.4%, dispensing 5.5 million prescription.

Travel branches grew sales with an increase of 4.6% and income from the society’s funeral homes, florist and crematorium rose by 5.7%.

Over the year, £18.8 million was invested in developments, including opening eight new outlets such as Wragby, Boston and Gainsborough.

Chief Executive Lincolnshire Co-op Ursula Lidbetter said: “We’re a local business and we’ve had a fantastic year thanks to the support of our 260,000 members, who live, work and shop in this area.

“We’re successful and able to reach milestones such as £300 million of sales or recruiting almost 25,000 new members because customers know we offer something different as a co-operative.

“People choose Lincolnshire Co-op because of our great people and range of services, but also because they know every penny spent with us makes a difference.

“Their support means we can tackle projects, both big and small, that have a positive impact on the community – from major investments like the Cornhill Quarter and Science and Innovation Park in Lincoln, to clearing up beaches on the Lincolnshire coast during volunteering days or giving free health checks through our roaming health pod.”