KASNAS CITY, Kan. — Associated Wholesale Grocers here said sales for its most recent fiscal year hit a new high of $7.85 billion, up 1% over the preceding year.
The cooperative wholesaler also said that a special $5 million cash distribution based on non-recurring income helped boost its patronage dividend to an all-time high of 2.84% for the year, which ended Dec. 28. The dividend totaled $173 million, vs. $163.8 million, or 2.71% of sales a year ago. Total cash distribution exceeded more than $100 million for the first time, with an additional $73 million in short-term patronage certificates.
Gross margins, including cash discounts paid by suppliers, was 6.9%, virtually flat with last year, the company said.
"We are extremely proud of this year's financial results, with record performances in virtually every area of operation," Jerry Garland, president and chief executive officer, told shareholders. "Our consistent performance is a testament to the cooperative model, where everyone has the same opportunity for success and where transparency in the numbers breeds trust."
During the year AWG opened its seventh full-line distribution center — a 723,000-square-foot facility in Pearl River, La. — and expanded its corporate offices by 28,000 square feet to bring technology, store engineering, decor and design services and nonfoods administration, which have operated in separate buildings, under one roof, the first time all corporate employees have been in the same building since 1992.
AWG said it has more than 600 members operating more than 2,400 stores in 21 states.
Read more: AWG Opens Louisiana Warehouse
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