Brodie satisfied in a tough year for all retailers
EDINBURGH-based independent co-operative Scotmid saw group profits decline by a quarter in the year to 25 January.
The society delivered an operating surplus of £4.5m compared to a surplus of £6m the previous year, on turnover that increased slightly from£428m to £431.4m.
But chief executive John Brodie told Scottish Grocer he was reasonably satisfied with the results in what had been a tough year for all retailing, marked by intense price competition.
And, although there was increasing media talk about economic recovery, he said consumers in the group’s main trading areas of Scotland, the north of England and Northern Ireland were still concerned about job security and austerity measures and had not, as yet, chosen to loosen their purse strings.
Although the society does not give details of the trading performance of its individual divisions the CEO said he was content with the performance of the food retail operations.
“Like-for-like sales were ahead of the Scottish market,” he said, citing the regular figures released by the Scottish Retail Consortium.
On food operations initiatives Brodie said he was pleased with several projects.
The development of the group’s premium fresh-led stores in suitable sites had gone very well, he said, and would continue.
The collaboration with local bakers had been very positive, he said.
However the society was unlikely to develop any further value-led stores along the lines of its trial outlet in Prestonpans.
And Scotmid is still assessing the benefits of selfscan tills which it is trialling.
• Full interview, next edition.