Co-op revenue hits £11.5bn as debt is slashed

Co-op CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq

Manchester-based Co-op Group said it aims to attract one million active new members over the next five years as it announced its revenue rose 3% to £11.5 billion in 2022.

The sale of the Co-op petrol forecourt business, which completed in October, reduced 2022 revenue by £150 million.

Group net debt was slashed to £333 million from £920 million in 2021.

Profit before tax rose by £190 million to £247 million, but that included £319 million of profit from the sale of the petrol forecourt business.

Underlying operating profit was steady at £100 million, while underlying EBITDA fell £15 million to £490 million.

Co-op Group is mutually owned by its 4.41 million members.

Food revenue rose £134 million to £7.81 billion and wholesale revenue was up by £53 million to £1.44 billion.

In its outlook, Co-op Group said: “The confidence and strength of the strategy was evidenced by the recent amendment and extension of the revolving credit facility to March 2026.

“We have also begun early repayments of our 2024 bond maturity, with £100m repaid in February.

“We expect the volatile external environment and turbulent economic headwinds, including inflationary pressures to continue. 

“However, the early action taken last year to strengthen the Co-op’s financial position, leaves our Co-op well placed to face into, whilst not being immune from, such headwinds.

“Costs arising from this are expected to dampen profitability in the short-term.”

Co-op Group CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq said: “It’s clear that our early action to significantly reduce our debt, improve our cash position, and tighten cost controls, has made a significant difference to the financial strength of our Co-op and has enabled us to look forward with confidence, despite continuing market uncertainty.   

“We now have an even better foundation upon which to grow our businesses. 

“We’re also looking to grow our membership, putting membership at the heart of our Co-op, with ambitious plans to both attract new members, and deepen relationships with our existing members.”