The Phone Co-op has delivered record profits, up 31% compared with the previous year.
The company's annual results to the year ending 31 August, published this week, shows the company's profits before distribution have increased to £550,000. The record profits will see members annual dividends increased from 2% to 2.5% this year.
The telecoms co-operative said its record profits had been driven by significant growth in its mobile division which rose 41% in the last financial year. The company said it expects to see strong growth in the division this year boosted by the launch of new mobile propositions later this year.
The Chipping Norton-based telecoms co-operative, which offers mobile as well as fixed and broadband services launched in 1998. The co-operative, which has two other offices in Manchester and London, is owned by its customers and distributes any profits not re-invested into the business back to members via a dividend based on each member’s spend.
Speaking to Mobile, Vivian Woodell, founder and CEO, said mobile sales are continuing to storm ahead with the latest quarterly results to the end of November 2013 showing a 44% increase on the same period in 2012. Connections also went up in the same period by 30%.
'We are very pleased with that. Mobile is our fastest growing area and will continue to grow as we expand our mobile portfolio this year,' he said, adding: 'The results are an indication of the popularity of the customer-owned co-operative model.' Woodell said he was particularly pleased with the co-operative's performance, particularly after the economic challenges to the telecoms industry which saw volume and prices fall.
He added:'As a customer-owned co-operative, we’re pleased we’ve increased our membership which means more people are benefiting. Members have also increased their investments in The Phone Co-op to over £4m, and we have built our reserves, to over £1 million. We see this as evidence that consumer co-operatives, with their strong member-backing, can grow organically in a highly competitive marketplace.”
The Phone Co-op is also diversifying into renewable energy generation, with three further large-scale solar PV projects completed in February 2013. 'In the year ahead, our focus will shift to growth,' explains Vivian Woodell. 'We have a number of important projects underway which we expect will contribute to this.'