Coop members vote for 2% dividend payout

Nocq Road Coop in Guernsey
Image caption,

Guernsey shareholders vote to approved the reduced dividend payout

  • Published

Guernsey and Jersey members of the Channel Islands Co-operative have voted to approve a 2% dividend payout for the 2023 financial year.

More than 100 people turned out to the organisation's Annual Meeting of Members at St Pierre Park Hotel in Guernsey on Tuesday.

In the new year, the CI Coop warned that it would be offering a reduced or no dividend amid losses of £1.8m.

Jersey members voted in a meeting on Wednesday which confirmed the result.

'Can always take lessons'

The low or no dividend announcement led to a number of people to close their shareholder accounts.

The CI Coop said it would reinstate any account which was closed so people could receive the dividend "they deserve".

CEO Mark Cox said that the communication could have been "improved".

He said: "We can always take lessons from what we do and there could have been improvements.

"The challenge we have is really unique to the islands: we have 122,000 people who are really passionate about their Coop.

"How you communicate and get your points across to those people is really tough for us.

"But we recognise that we have more work to do and one of our priorities in the year ahead is to engage better with our members."

Mobile phone plans

Mr Cox said that he was optimistic about the sale of Sandpiper's retail brand to Morrisions on the future of the Coop.

He said: "What we have demonstrated over the last 102 years of trading in the islands is we are resilient. We are owned locally by our community.

"What is a shame for the Sandpiper/Morrisons deal is that a large chunk of that business will now be owned in the UK."

The Coop also announced it planned to launch a mobile network in Guernsey.

It was planning to use Sure's infrastructure, but the Coop said it would set its own "competitive prices".

Mr Cox described a proposed merger between Airtel Vodafone and Sure created a unique opportunity to offer the service.

As well as the dividend vote, director elections took place in both islands, with Matt Chatterley elected in Jersey, Ben Le Huray elected in Guernsey and Jon Bon re-elected in Guernsey.

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