THE Phone Co-op has reported record profits and a record increase in turnover.
At the Gloucestershire-based society's recent annual general meeting, members heard that turnover increased by more than £ 1 million to £ 3.4 million for the year ended 31st August 2003, while profit before distributions increased more than three-fold to £ 132,000.
In the light of the results, the board recommended an increased members' dividend equivalent to two per cent of the value of their purchases.
A further £ 18,232 was allocated to the Phone Co-op's special co-operative and social economy development fund which provides loans to help other co-operatives to get started and to develop.
Chief Executive Vivian Woodell commented: "These outstanding results reflect the continuing success of our co-operative business model and of the Phone Co-op's customer-led ethical approach.
"As well as achieving an excellent trading result, we also completed an important acquisition when we took over Poptel's ISP retail customers and consolidated our position as a provider of internet services."
In addition to reporting on financial matters, the Phone Co-op's new annual report reports on environmental and ethical issues for the first time.
For example, business journeys made by less environmentally damaging transport modes (train or bus) now represent 52 per cent of all journeys made.
The Phone Co-op also offsets all the carbon dioxide emissions resulting directly from its activities via a voluntary levy paid to Climate Care.
The Phone Co-op is the UK's only telecommunications co-operative, procuring telecommunications services on behalf of its customers, many of whom are co-operatives, charities and other not-for-profit organisations.