Sales figures were up by nearly $10 million in 2018 for the Prairie Sky Co-operative Association from the year before, members heard at their annual meeting held on April 30 at the Legion Hall.
Elections for the board of directors were also held at the meeting to fill four vacancies, and one previous director was re-elected along with three new directors.
Kevin Lohse was re-elected to a new three-year term, along with Nick Coroluick and Jim Linnell, while Ken Kot was elected to a two-year term. In the photo above, in the back row from left are Jim Linnell, Leanne Anderson, Stella Swertz, Nick Coroluick and Ken Kot. In front are Del Croissant, president Brett Ferguson, Henry Jones and Kevin Lohse.
In the financial report, given by Rebecca Filteau, director of finance, sales for the year totaled $88.6 million, up from $78.9 million from the year before.
Broken down by division, the food division saw a total of $21.15 million, up from $20.72 million in 2017, fuel sales totaled $42 million (up from $38 million), and general merchandise sales totaled $4.18 million, which was down from $4.73 million the year before. Non-fuel sales by the petroleum division totaled $5 million, up slightly from $4.9 million the year before.
The decrease in sales in general merchandise was in part due to the sale of Expressions last year, and moving the Outdoor Adventures store over to the Home Centre once the Metro Centre was sold.
Operating expenses were up by $1 million in 2018, with $13.6 million to operate the Co-op’s various operations compared to $12.6 million the year before.
The net savings increased significantly for the Co-op, going from $4.56 million in 2017 up to $7.01 million in 2018, an increase of 35 per cent.
In breaking down the funds returned to Co-op members, a total of $1,941,017 was a general repayment to members, while there were $545,518 in withdrawals and retirements, and $334,672 in withholding tax.
Board president Brett Ferguson said the 2018 allocations of payments to members were set as follows: food, five per cent; pharmacy, 5.5 per cent; petroleum, five per cent; and home centre, fashions and feed all at 1.5 per cent.
Ferguson also noted that Prairie Sky Co-op had its third amalgamation in 2018, as the Lang Co-op joined the company which includes Weyburn, Milestone and Beaubier Co-ops.
He said by growing in this way, “it provides more stability to withstand challenges and to operate locally.”
In his first report to the members since starting a month before as the new general manager, Kevin Arthur noted the Co-op makes a significant contribution to the local economy with the wages paid, people employed and with donations to local groups and organizations.
The Co-op has 187 employees with $7.4 million paid in salaries, and $139,000 made in donations and kids club activities, along with $2.8 million paid out in equity to local members, and $173,000 paid in local property taxes.
The following are the totals of the cash payments to members since the Weyburn Co-op was incorporated in 1929 to the present, along with sales and net savings made. Cash payments, including 2018’s, totaled $46.627 million; sales totaled $1.547 billion, and net savings were $74.368 million.