Calgary Co-op Shares Financial and Operational Results with Members at Annual Meeting

Three board members re-elected to serve members

April 4, 2019 Calgary, Alberta – Calgary Co-operative Association Limited (“Calgary Co-op”) hosted its 62nd Annual Meeting on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

The meeting provided members with the opportunity to receive the 2018 financial results, learn about our future direction, hear results of the 2019 director election, vote on resolutions and ask questions.

Financial results
Total sales for the year ended Nov. 3 2018 amounted to $1.302 billion compared to $1.196 billion in 2017. This $107 million or 9% year-over-year increase is attributable to our petroleum division and higher average fuel prices in 2018 as well as the additional week of operations included in 2018 results compared to the previous year.

The Board of Directors approved the payment of patronage returns in the amount of $32 million in 2018, consistent with the $31 million returned to members in 2017. The portion of the patronage returns paid in cash was $24 million, compared to $23 million in 2017, with $8 million paid in shares in both 2018 and 2017.

The 2018 member refund was based on the same allocation rates used in 2017 and included:

  • A 2 per cent refund based on purchases at food centres, pharmacies, convenience stores, home health care centres and wine, spirits and beer locations
  • A 6 cents per litre refund based on petroleum fuel purchases

In providing the financial update, Chief Financial Officer Paul Harrison reviewed capital investment plans for the next decade. “When you look at the total investment required to support Calgary Co-op’s redevelopment plans over the next 10 years, it’s about $2.5 billion, explained Harrison. “Thanks to the support of our developer partners, we will be responsible for about 25 per cent of that total. So you can feel very good about the financial position of Calgary Co-op as we look to the future.”

Board of Directors
During the meeting, the results of the 2019 Director Election were announced. Three directors were elected to the board to serve a three year term on the Calgary Co-op Board of Directors. The 2019-2020 Calgary Co-op Board of Directors consists of nine directors and includes: Patricia McLeod Q.C., Board Chair (re-elected in 2019); Lori Ell, Vice Chair; Elaine Bereziuk-Smith, Secretary; Cindy Andrew (re-elected in 2019); Mike Dalton (re-elected in 2019); Roy Goodall; Mike Lambert; Peggy LeSueur; and Lisa Wise.

Board Chair Patricia McLeod, thanked all the 13 candidates (all member owners themselves) who had put their name forward to run in the 2019 Director Election. “The caliber of this year’s candidates speaks to the interest of representing the members of one of the largest retail co-operatives in North America.”

2018 Highlights
During the Annual Meeting, Calgary Co-op members received an update on the Calgary Co-op operations via a video from Patricia McLeod, Board Chair and Ken Keelor, CEO. Highlights from the past year included the launch of the Only Alberta Beef program, an even greater focus on local products, the opening of three new Wine Spirits Beer locations, the new small-format Killarney gas station and progress on securing approvals for the redevelopment of the Dalhousie and Oakridge sites, both of which received approval in 2018.

Looking Ahead
“Our strategic purpose is all about delivering exceptional customer experiences through inspired team members,” said Keelor. “It’s about consistently winning our members’ hearts and minds. Despite the delayed economic recovery in Calgary, our petroleum, liquor and home health care businesses provide stable results. The food line of business presents more opportunity,” noted Keelor. “To drive long-term differentiation from our competition and improve financial stability of that business, we must enhance our unique positioning as a local community-based co-operative, deliver a stronger and more relevant focus on members’ needs in our store offering and in our advertising and communication to members, and continue to find cost efficiencies. We must also refresh our stores to provide members with the modern shopping experience they expect, which is why we are expecting to break ground this summer on redevelopment of our Dalhousie and Oakridge sites.”

Resolutions and Q&A
Members voted on one resolution, related to a member’s desire to reverse a Calgary Co-op decision not to accept expired Revved Up Rewards coupons. The resolution was defeated by members in attendance at the meeting.

Members also brought forward excellent feedback for the Board of Directors and Management including questions and comments related to:

  • food centre self-check-out (we are updating software to make the process better for those with reusable bags)
  • the ability of our gas pumps to accept coupons (we should be able to accept coupons in the future) 
  • the new loyalty program “Me-wards” (we are committed to improving the personalization aspect of the Me-wards program) 
  • US dairy tariff changes (we are monitoring the situation with US dairy products) 
  • Plans to expand to Cochrane (we acquired a liquor store there last year and are evaluating future opportunities) 
  • The election of recommended candidates (since implementing the recommendation process in 2015, only recommended candidates have been elected, further strengthening our board with required skillsets and experience) 
  • The financial risks and commitment associated with future developments and redevelopments (by partnering with developers, Calgary Co-op is committing about 25 per cent of the total capital investment required to support development plans. The costs will be spread over the decade)

About Calgary Co-op
Owned by members, Calgary Co-op is one of the largest retail co-operatives in North America. Our locations in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks and Strathmore include: food centres, pharmacies, gas stations, car washes, commercial cardlocks, home health care centres, wine, spirits and beer locations, and a new cannabis business. With over 440,000 members, 3,800 employees, assets of $627 million and annual sales of $1.3 billion, Calgary Co-op was recognized as one of Alberta's Top 75 Employers of 2019, and is committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience through inspired team members.

For further information, please contact:
Kurt Kadatz
Communications Director
Calgary Co-operative Association Limited
Office: 403.219.6025 ext. 6912
Cell: 403-585-6893