More than 63,000 Lincoln residents shopping at Lincolnshire Co-op will benefit from a dividend payout of £2.3 million.
The Big Birthday Bonus dividend points were approved by members at the Co-op’s AGM meeting on Wednesday evening
The bonus points add up to £1 of dividend points per £1 of points collected.
As well as extra dividend points, Lincolnshire Co-op’s 150th birthday celebrations have benefitted local community groups.
In Lincoln alone, 50 groups applied for Big Birthday Award grants and received a total of £157,000.
Groups recieving grants include Lincoln Cathedral (£25,000) for turret repair, and Mount Street Infant School (£10,000) for a garden for the children to run.
Despite economic climate, sales rise
As well as celebrating its 150th Birthday, Co-op had a successful year in sales.
Total sales went up 2.7% in 2010/2011 to £285 million, with a maintained profit of £21.6 million before member benefits.
Food sales went up 4.4% and the society’s pharmacists dispensed a record 4.5 million prescriptions.
Due to the recession, Co-op Home and coffee shops were still impacted, but the travel section still managed to pull in a profit.
Lincolnshire Co-operative’s Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter said: “150 years ago our founders set out to improve the everyday lives of ordinary people. We hope that in our 150th year, we have done them proud.
“I was particularly delighted to welcome our 200,000th member during 2011. We’re recruiting members at a rate of 388 a week, the fastest rate in our 150 year history.
“I believe it is because people are aware of our support for the community.
“They like the way we give grants and donations to good causes, stock products from local suppliers and run the services people depend on, such as the village post office and convenience store.
“Around a third of our profits went directly back to members this year. A big part of that is the dividend payout which in these difficult times is a really important extra in people’s pockets.
“I’d like to thank our members who continue to support their business. Our dedicated team of 2,700 staff also deserves thanks as without them, we wouldn’t be able to provide the range and quality of services that we do.”