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Farmlands announces extra$4.4 million share return

Hawke’s Bay-based rural retailer Farmlands Trading Society announced today it was returning an extra $4.4 million to its shareholders.

Farmlands’ 15,200 North Island-wide members will receive a total of $2 million as bonus rebates and $2.3 million as bonus shares. This will see some Farmlands members receive a bonus rebate of up to $4500. This is the first time Farmlands has issued members with bonus shares. Each member will be issued with another 10 shares at $15, bringing their total capital investment to $700.

Farmlands’ chairman David Ritchie said with another record profit due to be announced in mid-October, the board was recognising members’ loyalty and investment in the co-operative – both as shareholders and customers.

Bonus rebates have been paid in eight of the past nine years, with individual payments based on the amount members have spent during the year at Farmlands.

“We want our members to share directly in the benefits of a very solid trading performance and reward the contribution they’ve given to our substantial growth as we celebrate our 40th birthday,” Mr Ritchie said. A group of six Hawke’s Bay farmers established Farmlands in 1962 because they wanted access to cheaper farm supplies.

Today, Farmlands is one of New Zealand’s top 100 companies. It has 27 rural retail stores throughout the North Island and a team of 200 staff selling everything from electric blankets to farm machinery. Through its charge card “Farmacard” members can also pay for their electricity, phone, fuel, insurance, groceries and liquor.

Joining Farmlands involves a $550 investment and membership is open to everyone, including schools, community organisations and local authorities.

Farmlands will celebrate its 40th birthday in November.

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