Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: Dividend windfall for East of England Co-op members

16:58 19 May 2014

Casting votes at the AGM

Casting votes at the AGM

Archant

More than 170,000 members of the East of England Co-operative can look forward to a share of a £3.5million dividend payment this June.

Newly-elected East of England Co-op board member Belinda Bulsing with society president John PendleAGMNewly-elected East of England Co-op board member Belinda Bulsing with society president John PendleAGM

The dividend was approved at the society’s annual general meeting, held at Wherstead Park, Ipswich on Saturday, following a recommendation from the independent retailer’s board.

President John Pendle chaired the meeting and reported on the society’s performance during 2013-14. Members heard that the business, which has 200 trading outlets across the region, achieved a 17% rise in pre-tax profit, climbing from £2.2m to £2.8m.

The society, a member of the EADT/EDP Top100 listing of the 100 largest businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk, saw turnover rise by 2% from £335m to £342m, despite tough trading conditions.

Doug Field, executive officer – finance and technology for the East of England Co-op, said: “We believe that being local and independent is a key strength and we are delighted to once again be able to give something back to our loyal members in the form of a dividend.

Questions from the floor at the East of England Co-op AGMQuestions from the floor at the East of England Co-op AGM

“A strong balance sheet, no borrowing, consumer confidence, a focus on customer service, and continued promotion of our independence are all factors that put us in a strong position to continue to build our society.”

The retailer’s Sourced Locally range, petrol forecourts, funeral, travel and the distribution centre all saw an increase in business. The year was also good for the investment property portfolio which saw an increase in turnover and profits as well as a £6m investment in new properties.

Following the AGM, members joined visitors in the grounds of Wherstead Park to enjoy a family fun event with live music from the Harwich Brass Band, a petting farm and activities for children. There was also an array of food and drink from suppliers in the national award winning Sourced Locally programme. Now working with over 130 local suppliers from across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, Sourced Locally sales grew last year by 30% generating sales over £13m – making it a key element of the East of England Co-op’s business.

The AGM also included a members’ vote for the election of board directors. This year saw 12 candidates standing for four available places on the board. Belinda Bulsing was elected as a new board member with Graham Bober, Clive Mann and Beverley Perkins all re-elected.

Members who are eligible for a dividend will receive their payment in the post by June.

The East of England Co-op’s Annual Report 2014 is available online at eastofengland.coop

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

Giffords Hall Vineyard feature. Including the use of drone technology to measure crop yield. Pictured is owner Linda Howard.

Vineyard owners in Suffolk and Essex say their industry has grown so quickly over recent years that the region may soon follow famous French appellations in seeking protected status for its wines.

Households are still spending more on leisure, but younger consumers a worried about their future finances following the vote for Brexit.

Britain’s households increased their spend on leisure activities last month, but many are concerned about the future impact on their finances from the vote to leave the European Union.

European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager speaking during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels.
Photo: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

Technology giant Apple has vowed to overturn a record 13bn euro (£11.1bn) bill after a European Commission ruling that it has an illegal “sweetheart” tax deal in Ireland.

The newly rebranded Fenwick store, previously Williams & Griffin, in Colchester.

Colchester’s new-look Fenwick department store is to be officially unveiled on September 15 following a £35m redevelopment.

12-20 Upper Orwell Street, which could be demolished and regenerated if plans by the East of England Co-op go through

A derelict building in Upper Orwell Street which has been empty for decades could be set for demolition if new plans for the area are approved.

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24