TERANG’S largest retailer has defied stagnant retail conditions to post a healthy profit as the financial year wraps up.
Management at the Terang and District Co-Op have revealed the retailer recorded a $70,347 profit, even after distributing more than $300,000 to community projects.
The Co-Op’s membership has also hit a new record of 2140 people — 1000 more than a decade ago.
Terang Co-Op chairman Wayne Johnstone said while this year’s figure was less than the $440,101 profit reported the year before, it was still a solid result.
“To maintain a profit in a tough economic climate is always pleasing,” Mr Johnstone said.
“The early signs for the current year indicate a positive rural outlook and the potential for an upswing in the co-op’s fortunes in 2014-15.”
Mr Johnstone said $294,447 of benefits were distributed into the Terang community through non-profit groups, Co-op members’ loyalty rewards and senior citizen discounts.
The co-op’s IGA supermarket result was one of the group’s strongest performers with a profit of $211,328, while the nearby CRT rural store incurred losses of $232,422.
The Home Hardware store was less affected by depressed rural conditions and posted a $91,441 profit.
Terang Co-op is entering two ventures with the acquisition of the business formerly operated by Wallace Plumbtec at the Terang industrial estate and reopening Camperdown Hardware.
“We are confident that with renewed confidence particularly in the dairy industry that we are on course for a positive future,” Mr Johnstone said.
The robust Terang figures coincided with a national review that found small business confidence was at its lowest level in five years.
The Sensis Business Index has found small businesses are particularly concerned with the rise in online shopping and lacklustre customer spending.