However, Co-op also revealed it had discovered £33m of accounting errors made by the Nisa finance team prior to Co-op’s takeover.
This included a deficit of £20m related to tobacco stock picking errors in its warehouses, a £9m deficit in income from suppliers and a £4m banking error.
The necessary readjustments wiped £10m off the group’s reported 2018 profits.
betterRetailing understands share payments to Nisa retailers are unaffected.
Despite the mistakes, Co-op lauded the Nisa deal for “increasing Co-op buying power”.
Nisa chief executive Ken Towle revealed that more than 10% of all Nisa sales now come from Co-op-branded lines, helping the wholesaler achieve growth 1.4% stronger than the market average.
Co-op also reported strong results in its food business, with like-for-like sales up by 1.9%.
However, the company failed in its target to open 100 stores in 2019, instead settling for 79 openings, 152 refits and 10 shop extensions.
It said the coronavirus would add £200m to its costs for 2020, but added this would be offset by additional sales and tax relief.
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