The Channel Islands Co-operative Society has posted strong trading results and continued to support its local communities over the past year.
At the virtual Annual Meeting of Members held on Tuesday 8th June, the Co-op highlighted how it returned £8.2 million to members and posted a trading profit of £7.2 million in the last financial year. The Society has a net surplus of £2.4 million and its overall turnover of £185 million was an increase of £521k year on year, but the pandemic affected the Society’s various businesses in different ways.
The Co-op’s pharmacy and food businesses were the ‘stand out’ performers, with pharmacy seeing a 14% increase from 2020 to sales of £10 million, while the food business increased turnover by 3% to £159 million. This growth offset a reduction in profits from selling holidays and foreign exchange and a 26% reduction in sales of road fuels, areas which were significantly impacted by the pandemic.
£200,000 was donated to charities and organisations serving the community
Charitable giving remains a cornerstone of the Co-op’s values and, through its significant partnerships and two flagship funds, £200,000 was donated to charities and organisations serving the community.
As more Islanders struggled financially due to the pandemic, the Society recognised the need to increase its support, working with various food banks and creating opportunities such as ‘Christmas in a Box’ which saw 388 boxes of essentials and treats delivered to those most in need to share some Christmas kindness.
Over 300 members pre-registered for the online meeting, highlighting how popular the online format, which was first used due to covid restrictions in 2020, is for Channel Islanders.
Mark Cox, chief executive officer of the Co-op, said: “Despite the many obvious and unique challenges that we have faced, the Co-op has had a successful financial year and, as ever, we are proud that our members and the wider community have been able to share in this success. I am really pleased that so many members took the opportunity to join us last night and exercise their democratic right to have a say on the future of their Co-op.
“There have been many highlights and challenges over the past year as we evolved the business to ensure we could continue to operate safely for colleagues and members and innovated to adapt to the future of retailing.”
Jon Bond and Graeme Smith, who stood as unopposed candidates for Guernsey and Jersey respectively, were also appointed as Directors bringing specialist business and financial skills to the Co-op that will help the organisation ensure it is future ready.
The Co-op is developing a new loyalty scheme
The Co-op also announced its decision to permanently end its bonus double dividend days, which were already paused due to covid safety regulations. In its place, a new loyalty scheme is being developed that will bring benefits to members in a more modern and future proofed manner where members will be able to view their accrued benefits on the members portal.
“There is much to be excited for as we look to the future with new faces on our Board and professional advisors with the key skills and expertise to help us deliver the best possible results for colleagues, members and our wider community. We have the opportunity to move into the future ensuring the Co-op and its services are ready for the future.
“We will also soon be introducing a refreshed and modernised brand which more accurately reflects how we are viewed in the Islands. We finish the year with a healthy balance sheet, a strong core food business and a great team that is committed to ensuring we continue to make a difference to the communities that we serve for the next 100 years,” added Mark.