Britain's troubled Co-op posts fall in first-half profit

LONDON, Sept 4 Thu Sep 4, 2014 4:21am EDT

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Britain's troubled Co-operative Group posted a 43 percent fall in first-half underlying profit but said it could face the future with greater confidence after agreeing reforms on Saturday.

The supermarkets-to-funerals group has faced a raft of problems, culminating in it losing control of its bank last year, when it posted a 2.5 billion pounds loss in total.

It posted first-half underlying profit of 66 million pounds ($109 million) on Thursday, down from 116 million pounds a year ago.

Richard Pennycook, the interim chief executive who was confirmed in the position on Thursday, said the first-half result showed the scale of work necessary to restore the Group to full financial health.

"Underlying profitability in the business has been curtailed by the deliberate actions we are taking to implement our detailed rebuild plan and to face into the tough trading conditions prevailing in the markets in which we operate", he said. ($1 = 0.6078 British Pounds) (Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Sarah Young)