Central England Co-operative, which operates 22 forecourts, has announced gross sales up 2.5% to £869.9m with trading profit up 4.4% to £18.1m for the year to 26 January 2019.

It reported capital expenditure of £28.7m, which encompassed opening of 10 new food stores and refurbishing 35 more, and included a £67,000 revamp of its Huddersfield filling station and a £30,000 refurbishment of its Alfreton site.

Chief executive Martyn Cheatle said: “The society delivered another strong performance in 2018 despite trading conditions remaining highly competitive in 2018 in all of the markets in which the society operates.

“We remain confident in our strategy and our co-operative point of difference to deliver growth and provide a relevant and attractive proposition to our members, customers and local communities.”

Cheatle will step down as chief executive in April 2019 and will be succeeded by former Spar UK managing director Debbie Robinson.

Elaine Dean, society president, said: “Our strategy remains focussed on maintaining the Society’s position as a strong, member-owned co-operative business.

“We firmly believe that our values and principles of co-operation are as relevant today as they have ever been and our positive results again demonstrate the society’s resilience to operate in a highly competitive market.”