East of England Co-op members to share in £3m dividend payout

Minnie Moll of the East of England Co-op.

Minnie Moll of the East of England Co-op.

More than 220,000 members of the East of England Co-operative Society will share in a £3million dividend payout this year.

The dividend was approved at the society's annual members' meeting, held at Wherstead Park, following a recommendation from the independent retailer's board of directors.

Minnie Moll, joint chief executive of the East of England Co-op, said: 'We're incredibly pleased to be able to share such a good dividend with our members once again this year.

'This is now the seventh year that we've been able to pay a dividend of 2p for every £1 spent in our stores. For our regular shoppers, this will be a welcome and substantial dividend.'

Society president Sally Chicken chaired the meeting and reported on its performance during 2015-16, telling members that, despite a fall in overall sales and trading profits, the East of England Co-op had delivered a healthy trading performance in challenging conditions.

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The year saw the East of England Co-op invest more than £15million to improve the overall shopping experience of its members and customers, including the refurbishment of more than 40 existing stores and the opening of four new ones, with the revitalised stores seeing increased sales and margins.

Under a new format for the annual meeting, members were invited to take part in four interactive workshops, each providing an insight into different areas of the member-owned business.

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The workshops provided an opportunity to meet some of the producers behind the society's award winning Sourced Locally initiative, become a Dementia Friend, find out about how their local store is performing and learn ways to support their local community. Members attending the event also enjoyed a free Sourced Locally lunch.

The meeting also included a members' vote for the election of board directors, with this year seeing 31 candidates standing for five available places. Two new directors were appointed, Chris Matthews and Maria Veronese, with existing directors Nicola Fox, Steve Shaw and John Hawkins securing re-election.

Members who are eligible for a dividend will receive their payment by post starting this month.

The East of England Co-op's Annual Report 2016 is available online at www.eastofengland.coop/annualresults .

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