Turnover remained flat and profits were down this year for the Co-op’s legal services business – despite a jump in divorce and wills work apparently due the Covid-19 pandemic. Half-year results published by the retailer, covering the six months to 24 July, showed that underlying profits for Co-op Legal Services were down from £3m to £2m, with turnover unchanged at £19m.Revenues are likely to have been hit by the downturn in personal injury and conveyancing work during lockdown. However work from other areas increased, with will writing services up by 69% and divorce-related enquiries rising 300%.Co-op said its legal business ‘performed well despite the impacts of lockdown’ and had responded encouragingly to the challenges posed in the first half of the year.The Co-op’s half-year report noted: ‘Our legal services business experienced an early increase in will writing work at the start of the pandemic, and then above average inquiries about divorce as the strains on family relationships created by lockdown began to show themselves.’The report said that online consultations with its legal advisers were already growing before Covid-19 but the experience of the pandemic is likely to increase that trend.Relatively downbeat financial results are in contrast with how the company was reporting the success of its legal services division in April: full-year results for 2019 had shown a 165% growth in profits to £6.1m, with turnover of £40.1m.Interest from the legal profession in the Co-op’s performance has remained high since 2012 when it was one of the first three applicants – and the first major retailer – to be authorised as an alternative business structure under the Legal Services Act.Fortunes have been mixed since then, with the group admitting it had been over-ambitious in its early years but appearing to turn things around with a greater focus on probate and estate planning.Overall, revenues for the Co-op group were up 7.6%, driven by ‘exceptional’ food and wholesale performances, with group profit before tax up 35% at £27m.
Share By LARRY GAGESpecial to the PRESSArmando Fierro won both the 800-meter and 1600-meter runs at the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Regional Track and Field Championships in McAllen on Saturday. In so doing he qualified for the Games of Texas Championships in Waco next week.Fierro’s times in both events set Region II summer records. His time in the 1600-meters was 4 minutes 29 seconds and in the 800-meter run he hit the tape with a time of 2:02. Both times were about five seconds off his personal best times in each event.The TAAF is the governing body for the summer track and field program in Texas. Events are conducted in seven different age groups ranging from the “Tiny Tots” division, for athletes four and five years old, up through the “Seniors” group, for those competitors 17 and 18 years of age. Fierro, as an incoming senior at Port Isabel High, competes in the Senior division. To see this story in print, pick up a copy of the July 18 edition of the Port Isabel South Padre Press or check out our E-edition by clicking here. RelatedFierro second in 1600-meter run in WacoBy LARRY GAGE Special to the PRESS It was another close finish for Armando Fierro on Saturday. In fact, the finishes don’t come much closer than this one. In the 1600-meter race at the Games of Texas Championships in Waco, Fierro came home second by a tenth of a second…August 2, 2011In “News”Fierro wins in Meet of Champions By LARRY GAGE Port Isabel Tarpon runner Armando Fierro continued his winning ways in the long-distance races this season by taking first place in the 1600-meter run at the RGVCA Meet of Champions on Saturday in Weslaco. He also placed second in the 800 meter race. In winning the 1600,…March 28, 2011In “Sports”Armando Fierro running down a dreamBy LARRY GAGE Special to the PRESS Armando Fierro is a young man literally on the run. A junior at Port Isabel High, Fierro got the bronze medal for his third place finish in the 3200-meter run at the UIL State Track and Field Meet in Austin last week. It…May 19, 2011In “Sports”