Announcing the result, CRT
Chairman Don McFarlane said the achievement was a fitting milestone on the 25th anniversary of the CRT brand
which was adopted by the regionally owned trading society co-operatives in 1986, although these societies had traded since 1963.
“When a group of progressive South Island farmers formed this co-operative nearly 50 years ago to reduce their input costs, they struggled to find suppliers and measured sales in the thousands of dollars. They would be heartened to see their dream has now grown into a billion dollar company offering a full range of services to more than 25,000 shareholders,” McFarlane said.
CRT achieved a turnover increase of 36% from $801 million in the 2010 year.
The co-operative has four main business revenue streams – being the farm supplies business, the CRT Card operation, fuel distribution and additional activities such as finance, livestock and real estate services.
These latter services are commission based activities, meaning the bulk of the turnover is reasonably evenly spread across the other three trading operations.
The farm supplies and CRT Card business continued the strong growth experienced in recent years, and fuel distribution made an important contribution. CRT assumed responsibility for the Challenge service station brand and fuel supply during the year.
Adding this business has made CRT one of the largest independent fuel distributors in New Zealand, and one of the major customers of Chevron in the Asia – Pacific region.
CRT Chief Executive Brent Esler said that the growth had been assisted by a number of factors including the Challenge fuel business, the acquisition of South Canterbury based Annett Grain and Seed in May 2010, and most recently the acquisition of the Hokitika based farm supplies business of fellow co-operative, Westland Milk Products Ltd, in February 2011.
The West Coast purchase was a particularly pleasing outcome and was a good example of cooperatives working together to benefit shareholders by focussing on their areas of strength.