CBH named top co-op for gross annual turnover

07 Dec, 2016 02:09 PM
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CBH has been named the top co-operative by gross annual turnover in the 2016 National Mutual Economy Report, released last week.

The report, which was commissioned by the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals using research conducted by

University of Western Australia, put CBH’s annual turnover for the 2014-15 financial year at $3.73 billion and its total assets valued at $2.17b.

“CBH is not only Australia’s largest cooperative by annual turnover, it is also one of the most significant agribusiness

firms in the nation and a major player in the grains industry,” the report said.

“In 2014-15 CBH contributes around $2.98b to the WA economy [and] invested about $1.2b into capital projects.

“It has been estimated that its 4200 grower members accounted for 25 per cent of the total economic activity of the WA agricultural sector.”

CBH chief financial officer Ed Kalajzic said CBH’s revenue was intrinsically linked to the size of the harvest and market

share held by the co-operative’s marketing and trading division.

“Being a co-operative helps us to connect with our growers in many ways,” Mr Kalajzic said.

“As a co-operative WA growers are CBH’s sole beneficiary and therefore everything we do, we do to improve the profitability of our growers and I think that definitely gives us an edge over our

competitors.”

The report has placed CBH’s national market share of bulk handling and storage at 17.4pc and the grain wholesaling at

19pc, ahead of GrainCorp and Glencore Grain.

“These figures are based on national figures – in WA CBH stores and handles around 90pc of the crop while wholesaling almost 50pc,” Mr Kalajzic said.

“Our strategy is to maintain our market share of the WA grain harvest while growing our accumulations in South Australia.

“We plan to do this while reducing the cost per tonne charged to growers, through lowering receival and transportation costs as well as seeking opportunities through investments to grow our

rebates.”

CBH director Brian McAlpine was quoted in the report as saying “the transparency of the performance of the board and the management is a big point of difference between a co-op and a listed entity through its share price”.

“Where I want to see CBH go to is a global player that fully and materially adds value to WA grain growers to enable them to stay globally competitive.

“To be able to do that you need to access the value chain collectively in a way that an individual grower cannot.”

Other notable agricultural co-op mentions in the report included Victorianbased Murray Goulburn Co-op, which was ranked second behind CBH with annual revenue of $2.87b, 13th placed Norco Co-operative at $520 million, 15th ranked Namoi Cotton Co-operative with $422m and WA Meat Marketing Co-operative in 28th place with an annual revenue of $288m.

In the top 10 of co-operatives and mutual enterprises (CME), there were four WA-based CMEs, including Capricorn Society, HBF and RAC WA.

Banking and finance CMEs make up the largest portion of the top 100 CMEs in Australia by turnover at 45pc, while agribusiness CMEs make up 15pc of the list.

Earlier this year, CBH was ranked second in IBISWorld’s 2016 Top 500 index of privately-owned companies, placing CBH’s revenue at $3.83 billion.

The index ranked companies by revenue including public unlisted companies, partnerships, associations and private companies.

Internationally, CBH is ranked 147th in the top 300 co-operatives.

France’s Crédit Agricole Group is ranked number one with an annual turnover in 2014 of AU$121b.

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