100th Annual General Meeting
Montreal, February 24, 2022 – Sollio Cooperative Group closed the year ending October 30, 2021, with sales of $8.3 billion, up 10.0% from the previous year; consolidated assets of $5.0 billion, representing a 5.1% increase over the past 12 months; and a loss before patronage refunds and taxes of $18.7 million, compared to a surplus of $201.0 million the previous fiscal year.
“The year that just ended was definitely one of the most tumultuous in Sollio’s history,” said Pascal Houle, CEO of Sollio Cooperative Group. “Two of Sollio’s sectors were severely impacted by an extremely challenging business environment marked by the second consecutive year of pandemic conditions, near-unprecedented market disruptions and a geopolitical conflict beyond our control.”
Of its three major divisions, Sollio’s Retail division fared best, thanks to BMR Group. Despite considerable challenges—compliance with health measures, staffing shortages, supply chain disruptions, rising container prices, and extreme volatility in commodity prices—demand for construction and renovation products remained steady for much of the year.
On the other hand, hog operations at Olymel (Sollio Food Division), a Canadian leader in pork and poultry production, processing and distribution, have been greatly impacted by particularly adverse market conditions. Factors such as pandemic-related slowdowns, the suspension of export permits to China for the Vallée-Jonction, Princeville and St-Esprit plants, the four-month strike at the Vallée-Jonction plant, rising supply costs, and the appreciation of the Canadian dollar, combined with severe labour shortages, all had a negative impact on financial results.
Sollio Agriculture’s grain sector, which specializes in marketing agricultural inputs (livestock and crop production and grain marketing), faced an inverted market that significantly impacted this division’s financial results.
After this fiscal year, and on the heels of ten consecutive years of sustained growth, Sollio Cooperative Group is entering a consolidation phase in which it will consolidate acquisitions and optimize assets.
Positive performance results across several sectors
In addition to BMR Group’s financial results, which benefited from the public’s appetite for construction and renovation projects, Olymel’s poultry operations and Sollio Agriculture’s crop production saw record years. Sollio Agriculture’s livestock production also fared very well, as did the energy sector (Groupe Filgo-Sonic). “These results demonstrate the importance of diversifying our activities,” said Ghislain Gervais, President of Sollio Cooperative Group’s Board of Directors. “Some of our sectors have posted stable results year after year, and that has contributed to Sollio Cooperative Group’s resilience.”
The organization’s financial strength was also reinforced by the Quebec government’s $150 million capital contribution to Olymel through a program that aims to support companies with strong growth potential.
A new generation of leaders
During the year, an important milestone was reached with the appointment of four new business leaders within Sollio Cooperative Group.
Pascal Houle was appointed CEO of Sollio Cooperative Group, replacing Gaétan Desroches, who retired after a 40-year career within the Sollio network, and Yanick Gervais was appointed President and CEO of Olymel, succeeding Réjean Nadeau, who passed away in 2021.
In addition, Casper Kaastra was appointed CEO of Sollio Agriculture, and Alexandre Lefebvre was appointed CEO of BMR Group.
“Not only have we seen the dawn of a new generation of leaders, but those appointed to lead the Group’s various organizations were all already working within our network. This shows the organization’s ability to recruit talented individuals who want to pursue a career within our Group,” said Mr. Gervais.
100 years and counting
Founded in 1922, this year Sollio Cooperative Group is celebrating its 100th anniversary. “Despite this year’s challenging results, we remain optimistic,” said Gervais. “As in the past, we will continue to adapt to better position ourselves for the future. Our history has demonstrated this time and time again. Our cooperative model is steadfast and resilient, just like our agricultural producer members.”
According to the World Cooperative Monitor, Sollio Cooperative Group ranks 104th among the 300 largest cooperatives in the world. Sollio has significantly contributed to the strength of the Canadian economy and that of the regions Quebec since the very beginning in 1922.
Sollio Cooperative Group’s economic benefits, both direct and indirect, contribute more than $4 billion to Canada’s GDP and generate nearly 40,000 full-time jobs.
About Sollio Cooperative Group
Sollio Cooperative Group is Canada’s largest agricultural cooperative with Quebec roots. Since 1922, our day-to-day work of cultivating, growing, producing, processing and building tomorrow’s economy has been part of the DNA of our 15,850 employees and the 7,000 workers in our affiliated cooperatives. With more than 123,000 members, producers and consumers grouped in 48 traditional agricultural and consumer cooperatives, Sollio Cooperative Group helps feed people by bringing prosperity to farming families and ensuring a sustainable future for everyone. Thanks to its three divisions—Sollio Agriculture, Olymel L.P. and BMR Group Inc.—Sollio Cooperative Group proudly drives economic and social development in the regions, generating sales of $8.3 billion (over $11 billion if we include our affiliated cooperatives). Sollio Cooperative Group is considered one of Canada’s best-managed companies. To learn more, visit sollio.coop.
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Sollio Cooperative Group