Chairwoman's Report

BAKO Western Ltd

Chairwoman’s Report for the financial year ending 28th February 2018

 Firstly I don’t feel I can start my report without mentioning the retirement of 2 of our long standing directors, Bob Burns and Maurice Venner and to give our heartfelt thanks to both of them for their hard work and commitment making Bako Western the successful company it is today. It has been a privilege for us all to work alongside such experienced and dedicated individuals.

I have had much to learn since taking on this role but Bob has always been there to support me in my first year as Chairwoman. For this I am very grateful.

We have seen continued growth throughout the year with turnover rising from £33 million in 2017 to £34 million in 2018, with continued targeted margin reduction for the benefit of our members and operating profit slightly decreased from £920k to £870k.

The company continues to be in a strong financial position with net balance sheet assets of £8.6 million as at 28th February, 2018.  This reflects rebates paid to members during the financial year. Management and the Board of Directors seek for Bako to give members advantageous pricing in addition to the distribution of profit through annual or additional rebates after retaining any reserves required for continual investment in the business. Net current assets remaining at £4.9 million.

Our end of year debtors have improved from £2.2 million at 28th February 2017 to £1.9 million at 28th February 2018. This is mainly due to the continuing hard work of our credit control team, who have also substantially reduced bad debts and our debtor days.

We have seen our management team strengthen during this financial year under the leadership of our general manager, Dominic Holland. This year we have welcomed a new warehouse manager to the team, which is in line with plans to invest in new management warehouse systems to deliver improvements in service performance. The focus of the team remains to provide market leading prices and service to our customers.

Ongoing Brexit negotiations have created volatility during the year, while this risk affects a small number of our products purchased in Euro’s, it has a wider impact on many more product ingredients where our suppliers are exposed to the Euro. We continue to review any potential benefits and risks associated with the forward purchase of currency, but the majority of euro transactions are based on the “spot market”.

We hold regular Board meetings to review operational performance through key performance indicators in addition to setting the strategic direction of the future.

We are aware that our operations could have an impact on the local or wider environment and seek to minimize any negative impact. During the year we have reviewed our waste solutions with a focus on increase recycling of plastic and cardboard. Our food waste goes to a recycling site for anaerobic digestion we believe this will lead to reduced waste going to landfill. In line with customer feedback, we continue to look at the use of plastic and where there is demand seek to offer alternative packaging product solutions.

The solar panels installed in 2014 continue to provide generation of renewable energy which is then used within the business with any excess sold back to the power grid, during the last financial year this generated an income of over £21,000.

Fuel costs are significant for any distribution business, we were fortunate in the last year to have a very limited increase in rising diesel costs, in 2018 fuel prices are rising, to help mitigate this we are nearing completion of the installation of electric connections for running loaded vehicles awaiting dispatch.

In 2017 we replaced 8 delivery vehicles, these have engines that meet the latest EURO 6 emission standards which deliver reduced environmental impact, and they have also shown slight improvements in fuel economy.

I would like to conclude this report by thanking the whole of the Bako Western team, Peter Clarke (my vice chair) and the rest of my fellow directors.

Thank you all,

Karen Milner (Chairwoman)