The Southern Co-operative reports strong sales growth

The Southern Co-operative, which is an independent regional business owned by its 147,000 members and trading across 11 counties in southern England, has today announced annual sales figures of £327 million, a rise of 7.8% on last year.

This is the 5th consecutive year that sales and EBITDA profits (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) have increased for The Southern Co-operative. Chief Executive Mark Smith (pictured) said: “In the last year The Southern Co-operative has achieved significant sales growth and increased trading profit by 8.1% with EBITDA increasing to £22.6m. Since 2010 our sales have grown by 34% with EBITDA profits up by 46% in the same period.”

Mark Smith, Chief Executive of The Southern Co-operative

Mark Smith, Chief Executive of The Southern Co-operative

Mark added: “As a successful independent co-operative, our priority is to re-invest our profits back into the business for the long term benefit of our members. Investment exceeded £30m in 2013. This strategic commitment to invest enabled us to open 26 new food stores and funeral homes during the last year, bringing the total to over 250, including a brand new state-of-the-art crematorium in East Hampshire. Investment in a new retail
system will enable us to offer our customers better ranges more closely tailored to local demand and even higher levels of service”.

“Over the past three years The Southern Co-operative has shared in excess of £6.6m with members. In 2013 this amounted to £2.6m, an increase of 15% on 2012, reflecting the continued growth in our business and in members joining us. We are the best performing co-operative nationally in this respect.”

At this stage, The Southern Co-operative anticipates that its Share of the Profits, paid in June to members and colleagues who have contributed to this business success, will be the same as in 2013, reflecting a pay out of 2p in every £1. With its commitment to making a
difference locally, communities across southern England also benefited from £0.85m of financial, volunteering and fundraising support from The Southern Co-operative in 2013.

Mark summed up: “These positive results provide a strong foundation for further growth. Our exciting new strategic plan ‘Our Plan 2014 -2016’ builds on this success and consolidates our business, environmental and wider social goals. Our 4000 plus colleagues who deliver to our customers every day are key to achieving our ongoing success as an independent and sustainable business.”

The Southern Co-operative’s Annual Review and business plan, ‘Our Plan 2014-16’, are available to download from the Corporate Information section of this website.