90th Annual General Meeting - La Coop fédérée announces record results

QUEBEC CITY, March 1, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - With their 90th Annual General Meeting in Quebec, La Coop fédérée and its members demonstrated the strength of the co-operative model with the announcement of record results for 2010-11. Despite an uncertain economic environment and volatility in commodity prices, La Coop fédérée announced earnings, before patronage dividends and income tax, of $79.0 million for the year ending on October 29, 2011. This is more than twice the figure for the previous year, and was accompanied by sales of $4.6 billion, up 15 % over the same period.

"Our results, and those of the network of affiliated co-ops, once again demonstrate the success of the cooperative model, a model centered on the people involved but one that is also capable of financial success," said Mr. Denis Richard, President of La Coop fédérée.

Substantial Profits in the Supply Sector

Activities in grain marketing as well as crop production and energy also experienced substantial gains in 2011. The supply sector, which includes brands such as Elite, La Coop and Sonic, increased sales by $508.8 million to push revenues to $2.3 billion, an increase of 29 % over the last fiscal year.

Gains in the pork sector, the ability to take advantage of opportunities in foreign markets (especially in Russia and Asia), the success of recent acquisitions, the achievements from the streamlining of the Meat Processing division and sound management of resources, have all contributed to make this the most profitable year in the entire history of La Coop fédérée.

(Year end for October 29th, 2011 and October 30th, 2010)
(In millions of dollars) 2011 2010 Variation
Surplus before dividends and taxes 79.0 36.1 119 %
Products (sales) 4 553.4 3 947.9 15 %
Dividends 36.5 11.5 217 %
Assets 1 491.1 1 291.2 15 %
Property, preferred shares and convertible debentures 492.7 440.5 12 %

Well-planned Acquisitions
Recently, La Coop fédérée has acquired specialized companies in the areas of agricultural inputs, grain marketing and propane storage. These acquisitions, with combined sales increasing 23 % over the last fiscal year, were well-planned.

An Adjustment in the Pork Sector
The performance for 2011 was mainly due to gains in the pork sector, where sales increased by $97 million, bringing the revenue for the Marketing division to $2.3 billion dollars, an increase of 4% over the previous fiscal year.

Strong demands from China and Russia, as well as the consequences of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in South Korea, have offset the decline in sales to the United States, which primarily resulted from the strong Canadian dollar.

The restructuring in the pork sector carried out over the last few years has borne fruit, especially internationally. In April 2011, the establishment of the Pork Value Chain for La Coop has had a huge role in this success.

La Filière porcine coopérative produces quality meat products that combine the know-how of agricultural producers, the expertise of La Coop Network and the experience of Olymel, especially in the area of marketing. An increase in pork sales was also recorded in western Canada.

Increased Dividends and Financial Strength
The good performance during year has allowed La Coop fédérée to issue record setting dividends and further strengthen its financial position. Dividends to members and affiliates reached $36.5 million in 2011, more than triple the amount paid in the last fiscal year. Assets, including properties, preferred shares and convertible debentures, increased to $492.7 million on October 29, 2011, an increase of 12 % from the end of previous fiscal year.

"We are happy to share our success with our members," said Mr. Richard, "To us, cooperation is more than just a type of business. It is a business philosophy. The outstanding results that we are enjoying today give us the strength and confidence to make this model shine on the international stage."

A Model of Solidarity and Shared Benefits
Based on the values ​​of solidarity, democratic participation, honesty and transparency, La Coop fédérée is a model for inspiration that places human values ​​over material values ​​and recognizes that, within sound rules of management, the importance of people over capital.

"Our results and those of the network validate our business model, a model free of financial abuses, and supported by the CEO of La Coop fédérée, Mr. Claude Lafleur. At a time of the 'Occupy' protest movement, it is time for the way we carry out business to be noticed."

"These results could not have come at a better time, as the International Year of Cooperatives will be celebrated this fall in Levis," commented Mr. Richard. "This is why we are proud to announce our participation in the Sommet international des coopératives (International Summit of Cooperatives) as a major sponsor. This international event will gather some 2,500 people interested in the cooperative movement, project the values ​​and principles that inspire us and show that our way is a true alternative to the dominant economic model."

About La Coop fédérée
Founded in 1922, La Coop fédérée is the largest agri-food company in Quebec, and ranks amongst the 100 largest co-operatives and mutual societies in the world, across all sectors. It is owned by more than 90,000 members grouped into 103 cooperatives located in several Canadian provinces.

La Coop fédérée is present throughout the agri-food chain and, as well as being a wholesaler, it also provides agricultural producers with all the goods and services they require for their farming operations. The network has five banners: Elite and La Coop (animal and crop production, grain marketing), Unimat (hardware and farm machinery), Sonic (energy) and Olymel (meat processing). La Coop employs over 10,000 people with sales totaling $4.6 billion.





For further information:

Ben Marc Diendéré
Director of Communications, La Coop fédérée

Information and requests for interviews:
Paule Genest, ARP
Cell. : 514 703-4317 
Twitter : ypgpr

Diane Jeannotte
514 772-8019

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