The Swiss retail group, Coop, has reported that its sales rose by 4.3 per cent to SFr13.6 billion ($8.21 billion) in 2001.
From its headquarters in Basel the company announced on Tuesday that its annual profit reached SFr302 million in 2001.
In its retail business, the Coop group has also increased its market share by 0.6 per cent to 14.6 per cent.
Sales of the group's organic products under the labels Naturaplan, Naturaline, Oecopland and Max Havelaar have continued to increase. After having topped the SFr1 billion mark earlier this year, the company now has reported a 36.5 per cent rise compared with the previous year.
During 2001, 13 Coop outlets were closed, bringing the overall number of shops down to 1,597.
At the beginning of this year, Switzerland's largest retail group, Migros, reported that sales had exceeded the SFr20 billion mark in 2001, two years earlier than the target date.
The Zurich-based company said that although its businesses had felt the effects of the economic slowdown, its group cooperatives had performed well.
Last week Coop and the EPA retail chain decided to join forces, forming Switzerland's second largest chain of department stores.
Under the new deal, Coop and EPA will jointly operate more than 70 department stores and restaurants across Switzerland, however, the stores will retain their respective names.
swissinfo with agencies