A members’ dividend distribution of £3.2million has been announced by the East of England Co-operative Society, which is the largest independent retailer in the region.
The payout was agreed by members of the Society at its annual general meeting held last weekend (Saturday 19 May) at its Wherstead Park head office near Ipswich, and dividend cheques will be arriving with members shortly.
John Pendle, East of England Co-operative Society President, said the dividend payment was an appropriate and deserved reward for the Society’s half-a-million-strong membership, which comprises employees and customers from across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
“By choosing to shop with us our customers are directly supporting their local communities as we deliver vital food, pharmacy, funeral, and optical services, and provide support for local organisations.
“Members loyal support for our businesses means that jobs are protected and created both within the Society and in our network of local suppliers.”
The dividend is calculated on the Society’s annual trading figures which, despite challenging economic conditions, showed a turnover of over £353million and the highest pre tax profits for five years.
The unique make-up of co-operative societies means that each member has a vote in the way the business is run, and that all votes carry the same weight.
Over 140 members attended the AGM to approve the dividend distribution and to vote on other proposals including remuneration and directors fees.
The election of Directors also took place at the AGM, along with votes cast via postal vote. Gillian Bober and Nicola Boyce were re-elected to the board, and two new directors, John Cook and John Hawkins, were also elected. Retiring directors Roger Smith and Vanessa Gregory were thanked for their contribution to the Society.
Anyone can apply to become a member of the East of England Co-operative Society by buying a £1 single share. For more information go to www.eastofengland.coop or pick up an application form at any one of the Society’s 200 trading outlets.