INDEPENDENT Co-operative Society Chelmsford Star has held its annual general meeting.

The group, which has 50 shops in Essex, announced another year of growth, with profits up 5.46 per cent.

Profitability of the core business, food, was up 0.7 per cent, departmental stores were down 11 per cent, funerals down 0.63 per cent and the star performer, travel, was up 78.6 per cent.

During the financial year, the society donated £36,356 to Essex Dementia care and invested in new tills across all stores, revamped its Great Dunmow store and purchased the Catcracker pub in Stanford-le-Hope, turning it into a new store.

Full details of the audited figures are available at