Scotmid profits up on lower turnover
Scottish retailer Scotmid has posted a big rise in pre-tax profits after reporting a pick-up in sales in the second half of its financial year.
The co-operative society said "surplus" before tax was nearly £5.5m for the 52 weeks to 30 January - up from £3.2m in the previous 53-week accounting period.
However, turnover fell by 3% to £370.6m.
Scotmid attributed the drop to the impact of some store closures and a shorter reporting period last year.
In its annual results statement, the Edinburgh-headquartered retailer said it had put on a strong trading performance in the context of "a poor Scottish retail market".
Scotmid stated that successful initiatives in its food business included its bakery and new "food-to-go" lines, which helped to offset the impact of food price deflation and increased competition.
It also reported that its Semichem business "made good progress", driven by sales growth in fragrance and new private label ranges.
Chief executive John Brodie said: "The performance of the society strengthened in the second half of the year with comparable retail sales very positive relative to the sluggish market.
"However, one less week and the impact of some store closures saw total turnover reduce but we recorded a notable strengthening of our balance sheet with net assets now in excess of £91m."
"In the year ending January 2016, the Scottish Retail Consortium reported average like-for-like sales down 2.4% reflecting factors such as low consumer confidence, price deflation and poor summer weather.
"The society's retail businesses consistently outperformed the market in 2015 with successful implementation of our new Semichem strategy and the delivery of innovation initiatives in Scotmid's community convenience stores."
Mr Brodie added: "In the context of the current retail market, the additional cost pressure from the earlier than anticipated introduction of the National Living Wage will have a significant impact for the next few years, especially on our food business.
"The society will therefore, take the tough decisions required, accelerating continuous improvement initiatives and continue to innovate to drive the business forward."