Co-op profits rise despite record shoplifting levels in food stores

Chain signs up 1m new members and invests more than £90m in cutting prices

Despite record levels of shoplifting in its food stores, the Co-op increased profits in its grocery business last year as it signed up 1 million new members and invested more than £90m in cutting prices, including introducing special discounts for members.

Profits rose 11% year on year to £154m despite a 6.4% fall in sales to £7.3bn, driven by the sale of the Co-op’s petrol forecourt chain to Asda. Underlying sales rose 4.3%, excluding the impact of that deal, although that was still well behind the pace of grocery inflation.

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