Italian market leader Coop Italia has reported gross sales grew by 1.1% to E12.9bn (£11bn) in 2010, while its operating margin grew 0.7%.

The retailer opened 37 stores which led the network to 1,444 stores in total. Coop’s private labels generated sales of E2.7bn (£2.3bn), a share of 25% of the total sales. According to Coop Italia president Vincenzo Tassinari, 2011 will be a difficult year, due to the continuing financial crisis. Forecasts therefore remain cautious as Coop expects an ongoing resistance in household confidence to spread throughout the country.