Co-op Legal Services Almost Triple Profits In 2019

Co-op Legal Services announced their profits at the end of last week with a yearly growth of 165 per cent from £2.3 million pre tax profits in 2018’s financial year to £6.1 million last year.

The results for the Co-op’s estate and probate sections of the business remained extremely healthy, outperforming many other areas. The company’s legal services revenues increased by 13 per cent to £40 million which makes the Coop the leading personal legal service provider in the UK.

However, their funeral and life planning business continued to decline, falling by 3 per cent last year. The company has attributed the loss to lower cost funeral options and a falling death rate.

Caoilionn Hurley, Managing Director of Co-op Legal Services said:

“I’m extremely pleased with our performance in 2019. We’ve seen a significant increase in sales across our estate planning, probate and family practice areas, which is evidenced by our strong underlying growth in revenue and profit.

“Our customer satisfaction and colleague engagement scores improved in 2019, reflecting our continued commitment to service quality and our colleagues.

“Furthermore, our share of the probate market has increased year on year, further cementing our position as leader in the UK market.

“We’ve taken a major step forward as a business in 2019 and are well placed to deal with the challenges presented by the personal injury small claims reforms. I look forward to continuing to build on this success in 2020.”

Steve Murrells, Chief Executive of the Co-op, said:

“The Co-op made further financial progress through 2019, showing that co-operation is working. While we didn’t know it at the time, that performance set us up well to withstand the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and to enable us to support the communities we operate in.

“No part of our business has been unaffected by the outbreak of the virus and we have played a critical role in communities throughout the UK. Our Food business has helped to feed the nation and our Funeral colleagues have been there for families at their time of greatest need. All of this work will continue and I could not be more proud of our people who have delivered – day in, day out.

“Co-operation is something that is central not just to our business model, but to everything that we do and we are committed to continue to deliver against our vision of Co-operating for a Fairer World. Against the backdrop of COVID-19 we will review the strategy we had embedded across our businesses, aligning commercial and community objectives. Our responsibility as a co-op is to ensure that through our businesses, our wider influence is used to make the communities in which we operate feel stronger and more connected. That drives the business decisions we make – not profit alone and not shareholder value. The importance of that has never been so stark and we will continue to play our part for as long as we need to.”

Allan Leighton, Independent Non-Executive Chair of the Co-op, said:

“The Co-op is drawing deeply on our values of commercial responsibility and community concern to play our part in responding to COVID-19. Our commitment is to do all we can to help our members, customers and colleagues through the weeks and months ahead. It is already clear that COVID-19 will have profound consequences for the UK and global economy and our Co-op members and customers will not be immune.

“Against that backdrop, our results for last year show that we are in a strong position to keep playing our part. At the Co-op, however, we measure our success differently. Strengthening and sustaining our local communities is fundamental to us and in 2019 we gave £17m to more than 4,400 local causes.

“Looking ahead, we believe that co-operative business endeavours and co-operative ways of working will be needed in the future even more than they were in the past.”

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