Montréal, Thursday, February 19, 2004
Behind Our People
Mr. Pierre Gauvreau, Coopérative fédérée
de Québec’s Chief Executive Officer, presented
the results of the fiscal year ended November 1, 2003 at Le
Centre Sheraton Montréal Hotel this morning. “The
Cooperative recorded sales of $2.755 billion for the past
year, up from the $2.480 billion in the previous year”,
said Mr. Gauvreau.
The $275 million increase in sales resulted from the general
growth in volumes and rising prices for several activities
of the Cooperative’s divisions and subsidiaries.
For the same period, the Cooperative reported operating earnings
before taxes and patronage refunds of $26.1 million, compared
with $42.5 million in the previous year. Its operating earnings
were therefore down $16.4 million compared with 2002. “The
Cooperative’s 2003 performance was affected by unfavourable
market conditions in the hog sector, particularly in the second
and third quarters. However, results growth in other sectors
readily offset hog-sector losses,” added Mr. Gauvreau.
As at November 1, 2003, the Cooperative’s consolidated
balance sheet showed total assets of $754 million, compared
with $770 million last year. This decrease results primarily
from the reduction in Olymel L.P.’s inventory, due to
a decline in Canadian poultry supply and lower hog-slaughtering
levels in the last few months of the fiscal year. Once again,
the network of affiliated cooperatives remained loyal and
contributed significantly to the positive results achieved.
Today, the Cooperative represents over 50,000 members in 97
cooperatives ranging from agricultural cooperative to consumer
coops and processing coops. These cooperatives satisfy the
many varied needs of farm producers and consumers who have
joined forces to enjoy access to high-quality products and
services at competitive prices. In addition, as a wholesaler,
the Cooperative provides farm producers in Québec,
Ontario and New Brunswick with the goods and services they
need to run their business, including petroleum products.
The Cooperative also processes and markets various farm products
such as pork and poultry meat on local and international markets.
It operates through its own divisions and subsidiaries or
through interests in other enterprises.
Email : [email protected]
Olymel L.P. is Canada’s leader at both the national
and international levels in the slaughtering, processing and
marketing of pork and poultry meat products, which are distributed
across Canada and exported to over 40 countries around the
For the year ended November 1, 2003 Olymel L.P. recorded sales
of $1.847 billion compared with $1.690 billion last year.
This sales increase is attributable to higher hog-slaughtering
levels in Québec and Red Deer, as well as an interest
in Prince Foods, L.P.
Olymel L.P. incurred a significant loss in the hog sector
for the same period, primarily as a result of high inventory
levels worldwide and the soaring value of the Canadian dollar,
which led to a substantial reduction in gross margins from
exports. In the poultry sector, the reduction in the chicken
and turkey production levels in Canada starting in the first
six months had a positive impact on prices and strengthened
our gross margins in the second half of 2003. Consequently,
poultry sector results improved over 2002.
Due to the difficult economic conditions in the hog sector,
Olymel L.P.’s consolidated results were markedly lower
than those of the previous year, which gave rise to streamlining
measures during the year to limit cash outflows related to
both operations and investments. These measures proved successful
and lessened the impact of the situation in the final months
of the year.
The Cooperative’s Sonic Petroleum Division is the largest
independent petroleum products distributor in Québec.
After 45 years in operation, its mission continues to be to
ensure the competitive marketing of a full range of petroleum
products and services that meet the needs of customers located
primarily in rural and semi-urban areas.
The Sonic Petroleum Division’s sales totalled $280 million,
compared with $212 million in 2002. This sales increase is
the result of higher selling prices directly related to the
higher cost of petroleum inputs, along with improved sales
volumes of nearly 14%. These higher volumes represent the
combined effect of several factors, in particular the impact
of acquisitions made in recent years, development activities
with affiliated cooperatives and market growth in general.
The Division’s operating earnings were significantly
higher than last year with all departments contributing to
In July 2003, the Chief Executive Officer announced the merger
of the Sonic Petroleum and Farm Supply Divisions, effective
November 1, 2003. This initiative is designed to create a
network approach in order to better meet the needs of the
cooperatives and their members, foster synergy, and develop
upcoming managers, while consolidating the executive team
from both Divisions.
The Farm Supply Division has 450 facilities serving its 50,000
members. To support the Division’s activities, 350 agronomers
and agricultural technologists throughout the province offer
technical support, among other things, to agricultural producers
with respect to animal and crop productions as well as environmental
The Farm Supply Division’s sales rose from $587 million
last year to $632 million in 2003. This $45 million increase
is due to higher sales volumes in most of its sectors. The
Division’s earnings were slightly higher than last year.
More specifically, the results for the year ended November
1, 2003 include those of AgriEst, Centre agricole Coop for
12 months of operations and those of the Centre agricole Coop
de la Matapédia for five months of operations ended
March 29, 2003, at which point it became an autonomous cooperative.
Sales as at November 1, 2003 totalled $17.3 million compared
with $30.7 million in 2002. The decrease in sales, as well
as in net contribution, can be attributed to the return to
autonomy of the Centre agricole Coop de la Matapédia
in March 2003 and that of Profid’Or in December 2001.
As at November 1, 2003, Coopérative fédérée
de Québec’s consolidated balance sheet showed
total assets of $754 million, compared with $770 million last
year. This decrease results primarily from the reduction in
Olymel L.P.’s inventory, due to the fact that Canadian
poultry supply was down and lower hog-slaughtering levels
in the last few months of the fiscal year. This reduction
was partially offset by higher accounts receivable, mainly
in the Farm Supply Division where sales in all sectors increased.
Working capital as at November 1, 2003 was $128 million, compared
with $124 million last year, with ratios of 1.53 and 1.48
respectively. As at November 1, 2003, the Cooperative’s
equity stood at $183.2 million.