Co-op Group agrees to sell 298 of its smaller food stores to McColl’s for £117m
Co-op Group now has an active membership of 4.5 million people across Britain Reuters

The Co-operative Group has sold its remaining 1% stake in the troubled Co-op Bank for £5m ($6.8m), the company has confirmed.

The Co-op Bank, which has 1.4 million current account holders, was rescued from collapse in 2013 by a group of US hedge fund investors after a £1.5bn hole was discovered in its balance sheet.

The Co-op Group reduced its stake in the banking group to 20% as part of the deal and wrote off its value earlier this year.

The firm reported underlying pre-tax profits of £14m for the six months to 1 July period, down 48% from the same period a year earlier.

It blamed the fall on continued investment into the member reward scheme and reduced earnings in the insurance division.

Group revenues remained broadly unchanged at £4.6bn, with food sales rising 3.5% on a like-for-like basis.

Co-op said it added over half a million new members in the first half of the year, taking active membership to 4.5 million people across the UK.

"Championing a better way of doing business for our members and their communities is what the Co-op is all about and I'm delighted that we are really starting to deliver on that purpose," said Steve Murrells, chief executive of Co-op.

"We've been able to give £35 million back to our members and their communities over the first half of this year, a conscious decision to share our success with our members."