Apr 12, 2007
CALGARY, April 12 /CNW/ - The Co-operators Group Ltd. announced strong financial results, changes to its Board of Directors and an expansion of its co-operative ownership base as the company's Annual General Meeting (AGM) concluded today in Calgary. Net income for the group of companies for 2006 was slightly more than $133.4 million, down from $138.2 million the year previous. Total revenue reached $2.9 billion, up from $2.7 billion in 2005. The solid financial performance allowed The Co-operators to contribute $3.5 million in 2006 to Canadian charitable organizations, emerging co-operatives and community safety initiatives. It also provided approximately $10.3 million in 2006 loyalty payments to The Co-operators member-owners. Three new co-operative institutions have joined The Co-operators ownership group: Alberta Federation of Rural Electrification Associations; Fédéderation des coopératives funéraires du Québec; and Ontario Natural Food Co-op. The additions bring to 37 the total number of Canadian co-operatives, credit unions and like-minded organizations that comprise The Co-operators co-operative ownership base. "We are very pleased to welcome these three organizations, each of which brings a new perspective to our governance table and a genuine commitment to co-operative values," said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. The Co-operators also announced that Richard Lemoing has been selected as the new Chairperson of the Board of Directors. Lemoing served previously as a Director and a Delegate representing member-owner Federated Co-operatives Limited. His extensive involvement with the co-operative sector includes serving on the boards of Manitoba Co-operative Council, Heritage Co-op of Minnedosa, the Rochdale Housing Co-operative, and Federated Co-operatives Limited. Five new directors were also welcomed to The Co-operators Board: Daniel Burns representing Credit Union Central of British Columbia; Rene Daoust of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada; Albert De Boer of Agrifoods International Co-operative Limited; Dave Sitaram of Credit Union Central of Ontario; and Jack Wilkinson of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. Bardswick thanked retiring Chairperson Peter Podovinikoff for the outstanding contributions he made to The Co-operators during his eighteen years of service to the organization. "The Co-operators and the entire co-operative and credit union sector in Canada are very much indebted to Peter for his vision, inspiration and leadership," she said. "At the same time, our organization welcomes the new Chairperson and Directors with great enthusiasm and confidence as we enter a new era in our rich history." In keeping with the AGM's theme of Sustainability, the meeting was run in accordance with "green" guidelines. Renewable energy was purchased to power the three-day event, and The Co-operators is funding tree planting through Tree Canada Foundation to offset the emissions from participants' air travel to and from Calgary. To reduce waste, food and beverages were provided in bulk rather than in packages, and as much material as possible was provided in electronic format; where paper was necessary, it was made from 100% recycled content. Food remaining at the meeting was donated to the Mustard Seed, a non-profit organization that provides support to Calgary's less fortunate. The Co-operators group of companies includes property and casualty insurers Co-operators General Insurance Company, the Sovereign General Insurance Company, l'Union Canadienne, COSECO Insurance Company, and the Equitable General Insurance Company; life insurer Co-operators Life Insurance Company and its subsidiary TIC Travel Insurance Co-ordinators; Co-operators Development Corporation Limited; and Co-operators Investment Counselling. Collectively, the group of companies provides insurance protection to more than 847,000 homes, 1.1 million vehicles, and 566,000 lives, 45,000 farms, and 127,000 businesses. It provides travel insurance to 1.2 million Canadians and visitors to Canada, and group insurance benefits to 287,000 employees.
For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, 1-877-795-7272, ext. 2707, cell: (519) 820-4133