“Board diversity, through the appointment of two independent directors who work alongside farmer elected directors, and a strategic focus which sees collaboration between Ruralco management and the Board means we are all working together, sharing a commitment to the co-op model and its future.”
It’s proving to be a winning formula which saw six high calibre Director candidates standing at this year’s Director Election with Kate Acland and Gabrielle Thompson being elected onto the two Board seats.
Mid Canterbury based Kate Acland joins the Board bringing a wealth of knowledge in the sheep & beef, deer, dairy, bee and viticulture sectors. In addition to her governance experience in her own businesses, Kate currently holds several outside governance roles; sitting on the Board of Beef + Lamb NZ as Associate Director as well as being Director of North Canterbury Future Farms. “I am honoured and grateful to be elected amongst such a strong field of candidates and I’m looking forward to the challenge of serving the shareholders.”
Familiar face at the Board table Gabrielle Thompson has been successfully re-elected “I’m proud to continue representing the Ruralco Shareholders and look forward to contributing around the board table with my usual enthusiasm.”
“I’m delighted with the election outcome and looking forward to working with our new Director and continuing to work with Gabrielle who has added great value in her previous tenures” commented Chairman Alister Body.
For the first time in six years Ruralco will pay its owners a bonus rebate thanks to increased revenue growth and careful management of expenses.
The $500,000 bonus rebate comes on the back of a strong year for the rural services co-operative, Ruralco (wholly owned by ATS), which recorded operating earnings before interest and depreciation of $1.4m – the most significant post by the co-operative for several years.
During the last financial year Ruralco continued to increase its market share while also focusing on efficiencies within the business, generating an operating surplus before bonus rebates of $870k – more than double last year’s result.
“These figures represent a very positive year for the co-operative, a year in which we have grown our market share not only within Mid Canterbury but also nationally,” said Chairman, Alister Body.
“The gain has come through careful discipline and investment in technology leading to efficiencies being applied to co-operative cost structures, while also seeing revenue growth nurtured across all business units. This has been achieved not only at a local level through our rural trading outlets, but also nationally as Ruralco’s business, including its card supplier network, has expanded and thrived throughout the country. This network continues to go from strength to strength and is a valued part of our co-op.”
Looking forward, the co-op will continue its focus on developing its people and their pride and passion for working with Ruralco’s owners and suppliers to best serve rural New Zealand.