CST: 07/12/2016 23:52:58   

94th Annual General Meeting/La Coop federee and its Divisions: Unparalleled Performance in the Agricultural and Agri-Food Industry Despite Challenging Circumstances

286 Days ago

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Feb 25, 2016) -

Note to editors: A photo and a B-roll video for this release will be available on the Canadian Press picture wire via Marketwired.

Gathered in Montreal for their 94th Annual General Meeting, La Coop fédérée members once again demonstrated the strength of their cooperative model which, while being profitable, demonstrated all the required flexibility and agility to remain a market leader of the Canadian agricultural and agri-food businesses and of the Eastern Canadian retail market.

Considering the challenges posed by an environment where paradigms are consistently shifting and, at a time where the twenty-first century agricultural business needs to address important issues,
La Coop fédérée once again weathered the storm very well as it specifically took advantage of its diversified portfolio of activities reflecting its past strategic investments.

In this context, La Coop fédérée announces sales of nearly $6.0 billion for the fiscal year ending October 31, 2015, 11.5% higher than those of the previous fiscal year and earnings before dividends to the organisation's members and taxes of $95.7 million, 29.7% higher than the $73.8 million achieved a year earlier. Finally, La Coop fédérée pays out to its members $35 million in dividends representing a 40% increase compared to the $25 million dividend paid in 2014.

Highlights
(Fiscal years ended October 31, 2015 and October 25, 2014)
(In millions of dollars) 2015 2014 Change (%)
Revenue (Sales or turnover) 5 992.0 5 376.1 11.5
Earnings before dividends to the organisation's members and taxes 95.7 73.8 29.7
Dividends 35.0 25.0 40.0
Total Assets 2 298.3 1 737.6 32.3

"After the sizeable changes we've experienced in 2014, the 2015 fiscal year was a period of consolidation and integration of the already-achieved gains. Even if we've reduced the scale of our investments and the growth of our activities, La Coop fédérée nevertheless remained vigilant to seize market opportunities ", declared Denis Richard, President of La Coop fédérée.

La Coop fédérée's activities are subdivided in three sectors: The Agri-business Division (livestock, crops and grains), the Retail and Innovation Division (hardware stores, renovation centers, energy and innovation) and the Meat Division (pork activities and pork and poultry processing). The increase in revenue is explained by a better contribution of the Meat Division (Olymel s.e.c. subsidiary) and of the Agri-business Division. The contribution of these two groups more than offset for the transitory results of the Retail and Innovation Division following the acquisition of Groupe BMR.

"In 2015, our cooperative continues performing well. We are boldly taking up the sustainability challenge facing the agricultural, agri-food and retail industries where price volatility, regulatory changes, globalization and a transition towards digital are every day facts. This year's results clearly demonstrate that our choices and strategic orientations are already bearing fruit ", declared Gaétan Desroches, Chief Executive Officer of La Coop fédérée.

SECTOR REVIEW

The best performance ever for Olymel s.e.c.

Through its affiliate, Olymel, La Coop's network is present from one end of the value chain to the other. Nearly 10,000 employees work every day so that consumers can enjoy high quality pork and poultry meat products. To this effect, all Olymel plants are HACCP certified.

The 2015 fiscal year took place in the context of an uncertain worldwide business environment despite a turnaround in the United States. However, this division followed the momentum started in 2014, recording the best results of its 25 years of history and generating record revenues of $2.805 billion in comparison to $2.756 billion last year.

The good results of the 2015 fiscal year are explained by many factors including a significant reduction in raw material costs and an important volume increase in the sectors of processed pork and bacon. The excellent results of the Poultry and Western fresh pork sectors also contributed achieving positive results. The ability of Olymel to market its products was also helped by a weaker Canadian dollar which stimulated sales on international markets.

Finally, let's mention that Olymel will celebrate in 2016 its 25th year of existence.

A stronger than ever Agri-business Division which is reaping the fruits of its rationalisations and investments

La Coop fédérée's Agri-business Division takes advantage of the synergies between three core sectors; livestock, crops and grains. It also benefits from partnerships in various joint-ventures in Quebec and Canada, allowing to consolidate its presence from coast-to-coast.

For the 2015 fiscal year, the Agri-business Division is reaping the fruits of the multiple acquisitions it realized over the last few years despite the context of lower prices for many basic products. The acquisitions and partnerships realized outside Quebec allow La Coop fédérée to be very competitive in livestock as well as in crops.

All things considered, sales of the Agri-business Division, net of inter-company sales, increased by $139.2 million to reach $1.765 billion while pre-tax earnings increased by $15 million to reach $54.1 million. Besides gains related to the disposal of material assets, operating results are up in most of the sectors.

Retail and Innovation division: a year of transition

In addition to operating the Agri-business Division, La Coop fédérée, through its Sonic, Unimat and BMR banners, offers farmers and consumers energy and hardware products that meet the needs of local people.

The Retail and Innovation Division went thru a year of transition. The purchase of 100% of Group BMR during the fiscal year will be very positive over the long haul for the organization and its network. However, such a sizeable acquisition necessarily involves short term adjustments. More so, when we know that the renovation and building materials market continues to be challenging in Quebec. Despite this conjuncture, the many moves required by this transition have been carried out diligently: conversion of signs, logistical procurement adjustments to serve twice as many stores, cultural transition for human resources and rationalisation of selected corporate stores.

Accordingly, in the context of the ongoing transformation of the activities of the hardware and materials sector, total sales of the Retail and Innovation Division amounted to $1.410 billion for the 2015 fiscal year which compares to $981.5 million for the 2014 fiscal year representing a $428 million increase.

This increase is mostly explained by the acquisition in January 2015 of all outstanding shares of Groupe BMR which allowed to fully consolidate this subsidiary's sales. However, this increase is partly mitigated by a large decrease in oil product prices of the Sonic Energy Sector.

A model of solidarity and shared benefits

Founded on the values of solidarity, equity, honesty and responsibility, La Coop fédérée is inspired by the model that places human values above those of materiality and recognizes within the limits of sound management practices, the primacy of people over capital.

"Our 2015 accomplishments and our future projects clearly illustrate the ability of La Coop fédérée being proactive towards a challenging environment and to continuously act in the best long term interest of its members ", concluded Gaétan Desroches, Chief Executive Officer of La Coop fédérée.

Availibility of additional information

Financial information along with a complete operational review of the fiscal year ended October 31, is available on La Coop fédérée's website at www.consoliderCoopererpourlavenir.Coop

About La Coop fédérée

Founded in 1922, La Coop fédérée is the largest agri-food organization in Québec. It is owned by more than 90,000 members grouped into 72 cooperatives located in several Canadian provinces and is present in the majority of links of the agri-food chain.

As a retailer, La Coop fédérée provides farmers with the necessary goods and services for operating their enterprises. Its activities are separated into three Divisions: Agri-business (livestock and crop production, and grain marketing under the Elite and La Coop banners), Retail & Innovation (energy, hardware and farm machinery, under the Sonic, Unimat, BMR and Agrizone banners) and Meat (under the Olymel, Flamingo and Lafleur banners). La Coop fédérée employs 12,200 people and its sales total $5.992 billion. Including its affiliated cooperatives, La Coop fédérée counts more than 18,350 employees with combined sales of $9.6 billion. www.lacoop.coop twitter.com/LaCoop_federee.

B-roll footage of the La Coop fédérée will be available via satellite on Thursday, February 25th at 4:00 – 4:15 p.m. Eastern

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Source:
Ben Marc Diendere
Senior Vice-president, Communications,
Public Affairs and Branding
@Marc_ben
Information and interview requests:
Marie-Helene Cliche
Communications Manager
C : 514 347-5939
marie-helene.cliche@lacoop.coop