LONGUEUIL, QC, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Agropur Cooperative held its 74th Annual General Meeting today at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, welcoming close to 1,000 attendees comprising members and employees, business partners and guests from the agri-food industry, and highlighting its remarkable performance for the year.
The Cooperative's sales continued to grow during the fiscal year ended November 3, 2012, reaching $3.7 billion, which represents a 5.1% increase over the previous year. Of note, there were 53 weeks in Fiscal 2012 compared to 52 in 2011. Earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and joint ventures (operating surplus) increased by $1.8 million, reaching $246.8 million for Fiscal 2012. Agropur declared $101.6 million in patronage dividends to its members spread all over the province of Québec.
"Globally, the Cooperative is in a more solid position than ever, and our operating results achieved a remarkable level again this year. This means that we have the resources that we require to pursue our growth", explained Agropur CEO Robert Coallier.
Merger of Agropur Cooperative and Farmers Co-operative Dairy Limited
On February 11, 2013, the Agropur Board of Directors announced the merging of its activities with those of Farmers Dairy, a well-known cooperative in the Atlantic Provinces. This merger is in line with Agropur's vision, which is to enhance milk processing by cooperatives for the benefit of members' milk producers.
Launch of iögo
2012 was also marked by an historic event for the organization, namely the launch of the new iögo brand, which was spearheaded by its joint venture, Ultima Foods. Initial sales results are extremely promising, and thanks to the positioning of the brand and significant investments, Ultima Foods was able to establish widespread distribution in record time. "We are very optimistic about our future in the yogurt industry", declared Serge Riendeau, Chairman of the Cooperative.
The Cooperative continued to build on the success of recent years, launching innovative value-added health products in 2012. Agropur entered the year in full stride with the nationwide launch of Baboo, which opened up a brand new category of dairy products intended for toddlers aged 12 to 24 months, and the launch of Natrel dark chocolate milk. With respect to fine cheeses, a number of new products were introduced on the market, including the Crème de Grand Cheddar and Agropur 75, which is a washed-rind artisan cheese that is made in Oka to commemorate the Cooperative's 75th anniversary.
Since 1938, Agropur has been working tirelessly to satisfy the needs of its thousands of consumers. Toward this end, its 3,288 members have combined their expertise with that of its employees and the numerous agents involved in the collection and distribution of milk in order to ensure that the final product meets every expectation. "This tremendous collective effort was the inspiration for the theme of our 75th anniversary celebrations: 75 Years of Passion!", concluded Mr. Riendeau. The celebrations will continue throughout the year, encompassing a variety of activities.
Founded in 1938, Agropur is a leader in the Canadian dairy industry. With sales of close to $3.7 billion, the Cooperative is a source of pride for its 3,288 member dairy producers and 5,500 employees. Agropur processes more than 3 billion litres of milk per year at its 25 plants in North America, and boasts an impressive line of products that includes such prestigious brands as Natrel, Québon, OKA, Sealtest and Island Farms.
For more information concerning Agropur, visit www.agropur.com.
For further information:
Vice-president, Institutional Affairs and Communications
Tel.: 450-928-5454, extension 5461