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Co-op Group returns to profit 4 September 2014

The Co-operative Group has posted profits of £12m for the first half of 2014, a return to form after its financial performance in 2013.

The group posted its worst financial results in its history during 2013, generating losses of £767m for the first six months of the year and an annual loss of£2.3bn.

However, underlying profits, excluding one-off gains from the sale of businesses, dropped 43% to £66m year-on-year.

Following the appointment of Richard Pennycook as chief executive in March, Co-op Group has begun the implementation of a three-year turnaround strategy.

Reform measures to the change the management structure of the group were passed this week and will include the Co-op Group reducing its board from 20 members to 11.

Penncook said: “Over the last six months we have been focused on putting the building blocks in place to allow us to move from what has been the rescue phase for the Group.

“Much has been achieved as we work towards addressing our commercial recovery, including constitutional reform and reducing our significant debt levels. Now we can move on to what will be a long and exciting rebuild phase.

“Looking back at 2013, it will be remembered, at least in part, for the £2.5bn statutory comprehensive loss reported by the Group. The equivalent figure for the first six months of 2014 is a comprehensive gain of £116m and is just one indicator showing that the Group is moving solidly in the right direction.

“But that should not mask how much there is still to do.”

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