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AWG Achieves Record Sales And Earnings

Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) reported record net sales of $7.77 billion on a consolidated basis, and distributed a record $163.8 million in year-end patronage at its annual shareholders meeting on Sunday, March 18. AWG’s sales were up 7.2 percent, an increase of $520 million over the previous year.

AWG’s year-end patronage rebate amounted to 2.71 percent of qualifying warehouse sales, also another record for the cooperative. In total, including allowances, AWG rebated $482 million.

Total gross profit on sales within the co-op was 6.16 percent, before patronage payout of 2.71 percent. This represents a decline of 16 basis points from the prior year. The lower margin indicates retailers are paying less for grocery products.

Kansas City, Kan.-based AWG also announced a 4.1 percent increase in the trading value for AWG stock, to $1,635 per share.

In addition, AWG’s private brands, Best Choice and Always Save, recorded another all-time record year, achieving sales of nearly $1.1 billion in 2011.

Jerry Garland, president and CEO of AWG, said, “We are extremely proud of this year’s financial results. AWG had record performances in virtually every area of operations. Our consistent performance is a testament to the co-operative model where everyone has the same opportunity for success, and where transparency in the numbers breeds trust.”

The growth is expected to continue as the company’s seventh full-line distribution center in Pearl River, La., is “on track” in the construction process, Garland said.

“The Gulf Coast area has many of the country’s finest family-owned supermarket operators, and we believe that our company will bring a lower cost of goods to these retailers,” Garland added. “In addition, this facility will afford them the opportunity to take advantage of AWG services such as our award-winning décor and design service, store engineering, retail training and more.”

AWG is the second largest retailer-owned food distribution co-operative in the country supplying more than 620 members operating 2,814-plus retail outlets in 24 states through its distribution network.

AWG has been headquartered in Kansas City since it was founded in 1926.

In the photo at top: AWG broke ground last year at what will be the company’s seventh full-line distribution center in Pearl River, La.


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