Assembly approves patronage dividend at 2019 Annual General Meeting
(Calgary, Alberta) – United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd. (“UFA”) approved a patronage dividend of $14 million dollars to its membership at its Annual General Meeting (“AGM”), held Friday, March 15, 2019. The patronage payment is for 2018 purchases in the following categories: Ag Gas (2%), Ag Diesel (4.4%), and Seed (5%). This year, we have also extended the payment to include Lubricants (5%).
In addition to the patronage dividend, the Alberta-based co-operative reported $77 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), a key indicator of a company’s financial performance, as well as $1.8 billion in financial revenues.
“Throughout the year our co-operative focused its efforts on serving our members and customers and investing in our infrastructure, business processes and teams. The results of our efforts have put UFA in a very strong, healthy financial position,” said Carol Kitchen, UFA President and Chief Executive Officer.
“In 2018, we achieved real growth in all aspects of our business. Our EBITDA was up 62 per cent year over year, and our return on invested capital hit 13.1 per cent, the highest UFA has seen in a decade.” Kitchen continued, “We have been driven as an organization to achieve a level of profitability that would allow us to consistently pay patronage. Our 2018 financials tell the story that UFA is making the right business decisions and has been investing wisely so that we remain healthy for many years to come.”
UFA, under Kitchen’s leadership over the past four years, has made important operational changes to improve its sales, reduce costs, and to strengthen its balance sheet. During the year, UFA invested in its core businesses, including acquiring All Peace Petroleum Ltd., building a new cardlock in Fort Macleod, Alberta and announcing a new location for its Ponoka Farm and Ranch Supply store, which will open in the fall of 2019. It also made the difficult decisions to divest its Spruceland Lumber business in Fort McMurray in July and to close its Pincher Creek Farm and Ranch Supply store in November.
“UFA recognizes that as a trusted supplier of petroleum, crop, livestock and building products and services, it must remain committed to creating value for our members,” said Kevin Hoppins, UFA Board Chair. “In addition to all the investments made in 2018, we also simplified our patronage dividend structure early in the year. This structure returns more cash to those who have contributed to our success. We wouldn’t be declaring a dividend without the support and patronage of our members.”
At the 2019 meeting held at Calgary’s Sheraton Cavalier on March 15, Kevin Hoppins, Rick Hansen, Harvey Hagman and Henry Vos were all re-elected to three year terms. This is the third three-year term for Hoppins, Hansen and Hagman, who were all first elected in 2013. Vos, who was first elected in 2016, is serving in his second three-year term. Biographies and more information on the directors are available on UFA.com.
Governing at the AGM were the Co-operative’s 11 Board Members and 42 Delegates, along with senior management representatives. The delegates are elected by UFA’s 42,000 voting members, being those members who hold over $2,000 in equity or have annual purchases of $2,500 in the prior year.
The UFA Member Report will be released to the public on Monday, April, 1, 2019 online at www.UFA.com/member-report.