The Channel Islands Co-operative has announced a trading profit of £7.2m – down from £9m the previous year – in its annual report for the year to 10 January.
The society has a net surplus of £2.4m and its overall turnover of £185m was an increase of £521k year on year.
It says the pandemic affected its various businesses in different ways but it continued to support its local communities over the past year.
At its virtual members meeting held last night (8 June), the society said its pharmacy and food businesses were the standout performers, with pharmacy seeing a 14% increase from 2020 to sales of £10m, while the food business increased turnover by 3% to £159m.
This growth offset a reduction in profits from selling holidays and foreign exchange and a 26% reduction in sales of road fuels, areas which were significantly impacted by the pandemic.
Through its significant charity partnerships and two flagship funds, £200,000 was donated to charities and organisations serving the community. As more islanders struggled financially due to the pandemic, the society says it recognised the need to increase its support, working with various food banks and creating opportunities such as ‘Christmas in a Box’ which saw 388 boxes of essentials and treats delivered to those most in need to share some Christmas kindness.
Over 300 members pre-registered for the online AMM, which was first used due to Covid restrictions in 2020.
CEO Mark Cox said: ‘Despite the many obvious and unique challenges that we have faced, the co-op has had a successful financial year and, as ever, we are proud that our members and the wider community have been able to share in this success. I am really pleased that so many members took the opportunity to join us last night and exercise their democratic right to have a say on the future of their co-op.
“There have been many highlights and challenges over the past year as we evolved the business to ensure we could continue to operate safely for colleagues and members and innovated to adapt to the future of retailing.’
Jon Bond and Graeme Smith, who stood as unopposed candidates for Guernsey and Jersey respectively, were appointed as directors. The society says they bring specialist business and financial skills to “help the organisation ensure it is future ready”.
The co-op also announced its decision to permanently end its bonus double dividend days, which were already paused due to Covid safety regulations. In its place, the society is developing a new loyalty scheme “that will bring benefits to members in a more modern and future proofed manner where members will be able to view their accrued benefits on the members portal”.
Mr Cox added: “There is much to be excited for as we look to the future with new faces on our board and professional advisors with the key skills and expertise to help us deliver the best possible results for colleagues, members and our wider community.
“We have the opportunity to move into the future ensuring the co-op and its services are ready for the future. We will also soon be introducing a refreshed and modernised brand which more accurately reflects how we are viewed in the islands. We finish the year with a healthy balance sheet, a strong core food business and a great team that is committed to ensuring we continue to make a difference to the communities that we serve for the next 100 years.”