The York and Districts Co-op has reported a loss for the financial year ended June 30, 2013 but remains optimistic for the future.

In his report to the Co-operative's annual general meeting on November 29, chairman Christopher Joyce, said the after tax loss was $123,000 compared with a loss of $141,000 in 2011-2012. Total sales were $12.35million compared with $13.11million the previous year.

The loss was not unexpected in light of money spent on improvements to the Co-op's supermarket and hardware stores. Sales had also been affected by the depressed economic climate and aggressive marketing by the major supermarket chains, he said.

CEO, Glen Scott said sales were also affected by the sale of the York Rural Traders store. The two remaining retail outlets had achieved sales growth. Other factors affecting the bottom line were the write off of old assets costing $106,000 brought about by the supermarket refurbishment and additional depreciation of $90,000.

Relaunch of the supermarket at the end of 2012 marked the end of the Co-op's redevelopment, resulting in improved facilities  and an opportunity for business growth.  "We look forward to consolidating, controlling operating expenses and achieving acceptable returns," he said

Mr Joyce said shareholders and customers had received more than $82,000 by way of the Co-op's loyalty program. A further $36,000 had been distributed to local groups and organizations in the form of sponsorship and donations.

He paid tribute to the dedication of the staff with special mention for the CEO who had lifted the business to a new level of performance.

Director, Peter Keeble retired and did not seek re-election to the board. A second director, Brenda Treloar, retired in rotation and was re-elected for a further three year term.

Lindsay McNeill

ABOVE: Shareholders and directors at the York and District Co-op annual general meeting on November 29 (L-R): Roy and Kaye Scott, Brenda Treloar, John Roosendaal and Aileen Gibbney.

BELOW: Chairman, Chris Joyce addresses shareholders at the York and District Co-op annual general meeting on November 29 flanked by directors and staff (L-R): Megan Bateman, Brenda Treloar, Peter Keeble, Bill Wallace, Tony Renshaw, John Roosendaal and CEO, Glen Scott.