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Channel Islands Cooperative Society Demonstrates Resilience Amidst Economic Challenges in 2024 

03 May 2024

The Channel Islands Cooperative Society (CI Coop) has released its 2024 Annual Report, offering insights into one of its most challenging trading periods while outlining a robust strategy for recovery and growth. 

In his introduction to the report, CI Coop Chairman Jon Bond acknowledges the impact of global events and economic stresses, noting a net loss of £1.8 million for the financial year ending January 14, 2024. Despite these challenges, Mr Bond emphasises the cooperative's solid financial position, with a strong balance sheet and members' funds totalling £150.6 million, highlighting its commitment to modernising and expanding its principal operating activities. 

Earlier this year, CI Coop warned of the possibility of no dividend or a reduced dividend. However, Mr Bond announces that the Board is pleased to propose a 2% dividend, subject to approval at the Annual Members Meeting in May. He states, "In proposing a 2% dividend, we have taken the time to thoroughly review what is in the best interests of our member owners and our ability to sustainably pay a dividend despite the impact of world events on our profits in the last year." 

Key Financial Metrics: 

  • Dividend Update: The Board proposes a 2% dividend, subject to approval at the Annual Members Meeting in May. 
  • Turnover: CI Coop achieved a turnover of £208.5 million, reflecting an increase of 8.4% over the previous year (53 weeks v 52 weeks). 
  • Net Surplus: CI Coop generated a net loss for the year of £1.8 million, following payments for dividend, member interest, and revaluation of investment properties. 

CEO Mark Cox reflects on the past year, stating, "Entering 2023, we hoped for stability after enduring significant challenges and changes in the world around us. However, like many businesses, CI Coop faced substantial hurdles due to unprecedented levels of inflation, interest rate hikes and escalating cost of living pressures placing considerable pressure on our operations." 

“We recognise that our announcement earlier in the year regarding dividend payments caused some concern however I am delighted that after a period of review we have been able to ensure we can make a payment to our member owners, I would like to record my thanks to all our member owners and colleagues for their understanding, loyalty, and continued commitment to our CI Coop,” said Mark Cox 

Mark Cox emphasised the cooperative's dedication to community welfare, firmly rooted in cooperative principles. "Despite the challenges we faced, there's ample reason for pride, particularly in our commitment to making a real difference to the communities we serve.” 

In 2023, CI Coop demonstrated its dedication to community support, donating £148,000 to local charitable causes and community groups. Highlights include providing 525 hours of colleague volunteering hours to support local charitable groups, distributing 150,000 items of surplus food waste through the community sharing app Olio, providing meals for schoolchildren, selling £2.5 million of Fairtrade products, ensuring fairer trading terms for producers, and spending £8.3 million with local suppliers, which provides economic benefit to our islands. 

Looking ahead, Mark Cox expresses confidence in the cooperative's ability to overcome challenges through collaboration and innovation. CI Coop has invested in modernisation, acquiring seven pharmacies from the Lloyds Pharmacy Group, opening new stores, expanding product ranges, and implementing new point-of-sale technology. Additionally, there will be further investment in creating value for members, including the launch of an innovative member rewards scheme in the coming months. 

As the largest member-owned and led organisation in the Channel Islands, employing over 1,100 people, CI Coop remains committed to creating value for its members, customers, suppliers, and communities. 

For more information about our member dividend, please read our dividend FAQs