By John Smith • 08 April 2021 • 17:56
Even Queen Elizabeth has visited the Co-op
Credit: Co-op flickr
THE Co-op Group in the UK has announced that it will repay £15.5 million (€17 million) of the Covid relief it received from the government’s furlough scheme.
It has had a good 2020 with a rise in turnover to £11.5 billion (€12.7 billion) and profits after tax and provisions also up at £77 million (€85 million) although that is only a tiny percentage against turnover.
The Co-op will not however return business rates support as it considered that this was given in “good faith” to help support its services including funerals and did not ever expect to have to pay it back.
Expenses have been up due to Covid-19 and the need to protect staff and customers as well as employ additional workers to cover those who were affected by the virus, to purchase personal protective equipment and to make a one off ‘thank you’ payment to those who continued to serve the public.
Steve Murrells, chief executive of the Co-op, said: “Our Vision, Co-operating for a Fairer World, was our guiding light throughout, and our response to Covid-19 demonstrated the power of co-operative enterprise and the relevance of co-operative values.”
Allan Leighton, Co-op group chair, said: “The Co-op has played a vital and unique role in feeding and caring for the nation through the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to do so as the vaccine programme is further rolled out.
“We were grateful for the Government support that allowed us to manage our businesses through the pandemic, particularly our Funeral care business, which has been working with bereaved families in extraordinarily difficult circumstances, helping them mark the passing of loved ones at a time of national grief.”
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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