Annual Report and Annual Meeting Recap
On Saturday, December 2nd, we held our Annual Meeting to share information about the financial condition of Three Rivers Market for Fiscal Year 2022-2023, which ran from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023. This message contains a summary of our presentation as well as our Annual Report, which can be found here.
We saw positive sales growth this past fiscal year, along with low debt (with 0.5 debt to equity); a high current ratio (2.6), meaning Three Rivers Market is able to pay off short-term liability satisfactorily; and a high quick ratio (2.1), which means our co-op has short-term paying ability without needing to sell inventory.
Each year the Board has the responsibility to decide whether to issue a patronage dividend after careful consideration of the cooperative’s financial condition. A patronage dividend is an allocation to members of a proportional value of the cooperative’s net taxable income. We will not issue a patronage dividend for FY 22-23, as a result of a negative net income, meaning expenses exceeded income.
Factors that impacted our financial condition included several extraordinary, new, or increased expenses, many of which reflect our values.
We value being a good employer. Increases in labor related expenses are the result of internal promotions, increases in wages and benefits to all staff, a higher number and a higher percentage of full-time staff, a higher percentage of employees receiving insurance benefits, and discounts on purchases for staff members. Labor costs also included severances paid to former upper level management during FY 22-23.
We value rigorous monitoring of the policies that outline our expectations for the General Manager’s performance, and have committed to soliciting more third-party sources to inform us. To this end, we retained auditing and accounting services, and also contracted with a third party to administer a staff survey.
Also notable was a $33,939 increase in credit card fees from the previous year, and a total $20,396 in new equipment purchases and repairs. To address the credit card fees, the GM has renegotiated as of October 2023, so fees have decreased since the end of the last fiscal year.
Another factor that has contributed to the absence of a patronage dividend is the amount issued in monthly 10% discounts to members. This discount can be considered an advance on the patronage dividend, so members who took advantage of this program did receive a financial benefit as a result of membership.
A total of $215,087 was issued in discounts to members in FY 22-23. We’d like to note that this number is significantly higher than the discounts issued by our peers in National Cooperative Grocers, a cooperative of cooperatives to which we belong. Typical performers in our sales category issued an average of $54,789 in discounts, as they structure their discount programs more restrictively than we do.
We have had ongoing discussions about the differential between Three Rivers Market and peers in member discounting, and the effect of our generous discount program on the opportunity to issue a patronage dividend at the end of the year. We plan to seek member input in the coming year about how member discounts impact net income, and how to best ensure equitable distribution of profits eligible for allocation to members, proportional to their purchases.
Members with further questions about Three Rivers Market’s financial performance in FY 22-23 are welcome to contact the General Manager (email@example.com) and/or Board of Directors (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also, members with particular interest in the co-op’s financial performance are invited to register for our December monthly meeting, at which we will be monitoring Policy #B4, Financial Condition, for the first quarter of the current fiscal year.