Sales were up for Pioneer Co-op last year, according to its general manager.
About 100 guests attended Pioneer Co-op’s annual general meeting at the Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current on April 8.
The organization reported it had a strong, successful year, with $250,557,517 in sales in 2013. This was an increase of over $16 million from the previous year.
“The past year was very, very good in all aspects in pretty much all locations,” said Pioneer Co-op general manager Stuart Dyrland.
Net savings totalled about $17 million.
The Co-op will be giving back over $13 million in patronage allocations to members, with a 50 per cent cash repayment expected during its dividend days in June. Dyrland said they are about the same as last year, with three per cent in groceries, four per cent in hardware, lumber and plumbing, 7.5 per cent in agro, one per cent in fertilizer and 7.5 cents per litre in fuel and petroleum.
“We had strong sales across the board – the strongest one likely being in the agro products – but some really good support in all areas,” Dyrland reported, noting petroleum and grocery sales are also always strong. “All other areas held their own, which created an overall very good year.”
One of the biggest undertakings for the Co-op last year was renovations at the Maple Creek food store. The interior and exterior renovations were completed last summer and included the installation of new freezers and coolers for better energy efficiency. New tills were also installed.
Other projects last year included new card locks at Frontier, Kyle and Hodgeville, a new fuel tank installed at Ponteix, renovations to the car wash at Swift Current and renovations to the Co-op’s fertilizer plant.
Renovations are in the works for the Herbert Co-op, and the organization is in the process of building a new piling yard in Swift Current.
This year, the Co-op is focusing on completing these two projects and adding card locks to more locations. It is also planning a corporate bulk plant for Swift Current.
Plans are being made to construct a new building to combine the food store and ag and fuel supply centres under one roof. This is being done as a cost-saving measure as the Consul food store building is too old to renovate and make more energy efficient.
Dyrland said Pioneer Co-op continues to grow and is appreciative of the support it has received in all areas.
“With the growing membership and more active members, it continues to grow at a very nice rate each year,” he stated. “We definitely appreciate all the support we’re getting.”
Pioneer Co-op now has a total of 28,698 members.