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Co-operative suffers fall in profits

    Profits at the Co-operative Group dropped by 55 per cent in the first half of 2012, the company has revealed.

    Sales in the group’s supermarkets fell by 1.2 per cent in the six months to June 30. Operating profits were down 16 per cent to £119m.

    The group’s banking division also suffered a 67.9 per cent drop.

    The Co-op is one of Britain’s largest supermarket chains. In April it changed its polity to boycott all companies which source produce from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

    It has refused to stock products from the settlements since 2009, but extended its policy to bar engagement with any Israeli suppliers known to work with the settlements.

    Chief executive Peter Marks blamed the profit drop on wet weather and “the worst business conditions for 40 years”.

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