Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), headquartered in Kansas City, Kansas, reported record consolidated net sales on continuing operations of $9.7 billion and distributed a record $213.8 million in year-end patronage immediately following its annual shareholders teleconference Wednesday, March 25.
AWG’s cooperative sales were $8.5 billion. Total distribution of cooperative benefits returned to shareholders, including interest, allowances and patronage, was $552 million. Total members’ equity ended the year valued at $522.8 million, another all-time record. Additionally, the trading value for class “A” shares increased 4.35 percent to $2,400 per share.
“AWG experienced an excellent year of operational progress by almost every measure and another strong year of financial performance,” said David Smith, president and CEO. “We fully understand that the No. 1 thing on all of our minds right now is the Covid-19 pandemic, our families, our teammates, our customers and how all of this is and will be affecting our business in the days to come.
“The theme of the 2019 Annual Report—’Strength in Numbers’—takes on an increasing importance to AWG and our members. In the current day this theme illustrates the very purpose of our cooperative, our strength financially and describes our combined ability to weather this storm. For the future it represents the potential power contained within all our collective companies when we work together on a common mission, common objectives and a common trust.
“We are very thankful to all of our members for their trust and support, for the leadership of our board and the great efforts of our vendor partners as well as our AWG teammates that made it happen.”
In commenting on the results, Barry Queen, AWG’s chairman of the board, said, “In these times of unprecedented crisis and uncertainty, as an independent grocer I believe that it’s vitally important to be a part of something larger and stronger than ourselves, that has the products, tools, resources and support to remain relevant and successful.
“AWG is owned by its grocers, led by its grocers and focused 100 percent on our success. We have a low-cost model, and we’re supported by some of the finest independent grocers in the nation. I’m proud to be a part of this cooperative and proud to see the continued fine results that we can deliver for the benefit of our retailer- members. It gives my family and me the confidence that we’re ready for whatever comes our way and to continue to invest and grow. There is truly strength in numbers, and AWG’s numbers are strong and growing stronger.”
Queen also said, “We have a leadership team and board of directors that work closely together to navigate through these troubled waters and ensure the cooperative remains strong and focused on the needs of our members—for the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
AWG is the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently owned supermarkets, serving more than 1,000 member companies and more than 3,000 locations throughout 28 states from eight full-line wholesale divisions.
In addition to its cooperative wholesale operations, the company also operates subsidiary companies which provide certain real estate and supermarket development services, print and digital marketing services, health and beauty care, general merchandise, pharmaceutical products, specialty foods, and natural and organic products.