Gateway Co-op holds annual information meeting

The Gateway Co-op held its annual information meeting in Preeceville on April 24.

Reports were delivered by: Lyle Olson, president; Heather Prestie, financial office manager, and Brad Chamber, general manager.

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Olson introduced everyone, explained the board’s roles and gave an overview on the financial situation.

Financially, sales were reported at $41.8 million. Fuel sales were $22 million with a local loss of 290,000, he said.

"We received $3.0 million in patronage from Federated Coop," said Olson.

“It resulted in a net savings of $2.3 million. From the savings we allocated $931,637 back to the members with the remainder going into statutory and general reserve. Allocations were based on a percentage of fuel purchases, food, hardware and liquor.

“Allocation cheques will be available on May 2 in Buchanan and Canora and May 3 in Preeceville and Sturgis. The distribution will be held in conjunction with a pancake breakfast in Preeceville and barbecues at other locations.”

Olson also spoke about the encouraging decrease in losses from the Sturgis and Buchanan branches. The Sturgis branch showed a decrease of $40,000 and the Buchanan branch showed a decreased loss of $17.,000.

Contributions made to local organizations were in the amount of $21,000.

Future projects are: The Home Centre and C-Store in Preeceville and tank upgrades at the Canora Cardlock location; a car wash at the Canora C-Store and image updates at the Canora Food Store.

Heather Prestie reported on the financial situation.

Investments in FCL increased approximately $612,000. Fixed assets decreased $661,000. “The decrease in fixed asset value is due to the calculation of depreciation which is $131,000 thousand higher than the previous year. When an asset is brand new, we record a higher depreciation expense than what is recorded in later years,” stated Prestie.

“Since the C-Store in Canora was open for only part of a year in 2017, we have significantly higher depreciation expense in 2018. We continually review our assets to determine if any of our assets require replacement due to the age of the equipment or to provide for greater efficiency in operations.

“The most significant investments in 2018 were the replacement of two forklifts at the Home Centre. All investment credits related to the Preeceville Cardlock and Canora C-Store have been received. Therefore, we have a slight increase in payables at yearend this year which is also a reflection on our increase in sales volume.”

Total current liabilities equalled approximately $2.8 million. The long term liabilities had a decrease of approximately $78,000 over the previous year. Member’s share capital increased approximately $468,000 which is the current year allocation netted with equity repayments of $483,000.

“Gateway Co-op is pleased that we will be paying 25 per cent of this year’s allocation back to the members in cash. Cash, that is your reward for shopping Gateway Co-op. A total of 241 new memberships were sold during the 2018 fiscal year. Net savings was reported at 2.3 million with approximately $931,000 allocated to members,” concluded Prestie.

Brad Chambers gave the general manger report. Sales grew in all areas year over year with the most notable growth in the fuel commodities due to higher prices last year. The full year of operations in the C-Store/liquor store added a large increase to total sales of 41.7 million for Gateway Co-op.

“A major initiative to watch for in upcoming months is we are working on reducing our impact to the environment,” reported Chambers.

“We are working on reducing our plastic bag usage. We are going to start a plastic bag free day monthly and rewarding our customers for using reusable bags.”

Sturgis has seen margins remain consistent and sales increase one per cent. This, mixed with the reduction in expenses has helped improve contribution at the site by $40,000.

“Recently we have added another cooler to help with the increased demand for fresh products and in-store made items,” said Chambers.

“All of Gateway Co-op would like to welcome Cliff Prestie to the team as he has accepted the position of Lumber Manager. Work continues on the project in Preeceville with signing on architects to start drawing up plans and the removal of the top soil late last year.”

Election of delegates concluded the meeting portion. In Preeceville, Bill Lesko and Lyle Olson were re-elected. Carla Keller and Chad Rose were re-elected in Sturgis. There was one position not filled.