Fiscal 2018 highlights
- Record sales of $6.5 billion
- Earnings before patronage refunds and income taxes of $210.7 million
- Equity and preferred shares of $1.5 billion
- Assets of $3.3 billion
- Patronage refunds distributed to cooperative members of $42.4 million
- Dividends of $11.2 million to the Cooperative Pork Chain members
- Acquisitions, partnership agreements and major investments
- Significant economic benefits nationwide
- Business model modernization in response to industry consolidation
MONTRÉAL, Feb. 28, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - Fiscal 2018 was the crowning success of the 2013-2018 five-year plan of La Coop fédérée ("La Coop") with record consolidated sales of $6.5 billion for the year, up $244 million from fiscal 2017. These historic achievements resulted from acquisitions, partnership agreements and significant capital expenditures as well as strategic initiatives in line with our business model modernization.
Fiscal 2018 results
At La Coop, one of Québec's largest agri-food companies and Canada's only agricultural cooperative with nationwide operations, growth continued throughout the year ended October 27, 2018 with consolidated sales reaching an all-time high of $6.5 billion. Earnings before patronage refunds and income taxes amounted to $210.7 million with equity and preferred shares totalling $1.5 billion and assets rising to $3.3 billion.
La Coop's three operating segments – Meat Division, Agri-business Division and Retail Division – all contributed to the solid annual results, but the top growth driver in 2018 was clearly the pork and poultry processing and marketing operations of our Meat Division (Olymel). In fact, over the past three years, Olymel has enjoyed some of its best performance ever while deftly reducing the exposure to risks arising from price volatility in this commodity market.
"We're very pleased with this performance which marks a fitting end to our 2013-2018 five-year plan," said Gaétan Desroches, Chief Executive Officer of La Coop. "These results are all the more satisfying given the prevailing market uncertainty and volatility, triggered mainly by the re-negotiation of NAFTA and the trade war between the United States and China, two of our main export markets."
"Our business model is a model for the future, hailed for its resilience, longevity, capacity for wealth creation and opening new markets while remaining responsive to member needs. Fiscal 2018 is a sterling example of that," added Ghislain Gervais, President of La Coop.
Strategic initiatives to accelerate growth
"Fiscal 2018 was a pivotal year for us with key investment decisions to help make La Coop and agri-food industry more competitive," remarked Mr. Gervais.
In recent months, La Coop completed a series of business acquisitions in Québec and across Canada and entered into new partnership agreements including the acquisition of Standard Nutrition Canada, Triomphe Foods and Pinty's Delicious Food close to the end of Fiscal 2018. Major capital expenditures were also made to develop a new grain transhipment terminal at the Port of Québec, continue work on the urea and methanol fertilizer plant project in Bécancour, modernize food processing plants and the first La Shop store by BMR in Montréal.
"These strategic initiatives have two aims: achieve critical mass and extend the value chains to be more competitive," explained Mr. Desroches. "They are also perfectly in line with our growth plan, which strives to offer even more business opportunities to farming families by becoming one of the country's top agricultural, agri-food and retail businesses in Eastern Canada."
Significant economic benefits
This solid financial performance underscores La Coop's prominent role in the agri-food economy and as a driver of growth and innovation in Québec and across Canada. Including the direct, indirect and induced benefits, La Coop contributes nearly $4 billion to Canada's GDP and supports over 35,000 full-time jobs. Its operations generate annual tax revenues of about $1 billion per year for federal and provincial governments. Furthermore, in the past five years, La Coop has distributed nearly $250 million in patronage refunds to member cooperatives throughout its network thereby contributing to regional development and vitality.
Business model modernization
La Coop continues to make every effort to build a strong, prosperous and agile network of regional cooperatives, in line with its values. Guided by the Board of Directors, a business model modernization project is underway to consolidate agricultural cooperatives in La Coop's network within larger regional cooperatives and enter into profitable partnerships with them. In fact, most regional cooperatives have already been consolidated with a first-ever agricultural partnership now in place.
"With the rapid pace of consolidation in the agri-food industry, market competition is heating up and generating attractive growth opportunities. We have what it takes to drive market development while remaining true to our cooperative soul," said Ghislain Gervais.
Ahead of its 100th anniversary to be celebrated in 2022, La Coop's Board of Directors also launched a strategic thinking exercise over the past year to define "La Coop fédérée of tomorrow." La Coop intends to continue seizing business opportunities across the agri-food value chain, play its role as a strategic local player for regional economic development and market high value-added consumer products in Québec and nationwide.
About La Coop fédérée
Founded in 1922, La Coop fédérée is the largest agri-food enterprise in Quebec and it is the 24th largest agri-food cooperative in the world. It represents more than 120,000 members, members, agricultural producers and consumers grouped into nearly 60 cooperatives with operations spread out in many Canadian provinces. More than 14,000 people are employed at La Coop fédérée which has annual revenues of $6.5 billion. Including its affiliated network, La Coop fédérée has more than 19,000 employees and consolidated revenue of $9.5 billion. Its activities are separated into three Divisions: Olymel L.P. (under the Olymel, Flamingo, Lafleur, Aliments Triomphe and Pinty's banners), the Agri-business division (under the La Coop, Elite, Agrocentre, Agrico, Agromart and Country Stores banners), and Gestion BMR Inc (under the BMR, Unimat, Agrizone, Potvin & Bouchard, La Shop and Country Stores banners). For further information, visit www.lacoop.coop. Twitter account : twitter.com/LaCoop_federee. Facebook account : facebook.com/LaCoopfederee
SOURCE La Coop fédérée
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