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 HERSHEY, Pa., Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 300 Agway members, employees and guests from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware gathered today at the Hershey Convention Center for the Annual Meeting of the Syracuse, N.Y.-based northeast farm supply cooperative.
 Following Chairman Ralph H. Heffner's (Pine Grove, Pa.) report to members, Charles F. Saul, Agway president and CEO, reported a successful first year of the three-year re-engineering program called Customer Driven: 1995. "Our first objective is to insure that Agway is an effective competitor today as well as in the future," he said. "Our second objective is to be profitable in order to provide members and other investors with a sound return on their investment and the security of a strong financial balance sheet. I am pleased to report that we have made significant and positive progress."
 He reported year end profits of $19.8 million on sales of $1.7 billion versus a loss of $58.8 million the previous year which included a $75 million restructuring charge. "All five of our businesses including agriculture, consumer retailing, energy, Telmark leasing and insurance made positive contributions to the operating results," he reported. "Feed tons were up 5 percent and our crop business was up 10 percent despite a late spring. Agway Energy Products and Telmark leasing had exceptional earnings and all units of Agway, including the administrative functions, did an excellent job of managing expenses.
 "We are definitely on the right track," the farm cooperative leader reported, "but the job is far from finished. We are fine tuning all the major operational changes we have made, and we are continuing to invest in facilities and equipment and in upgrading the skills of our people."
 Saul explained that two subsidiaries, publicly traded Curtice Burns Foods and wholly owned H. P. Hood, were reported in 1992-93 as discontinued operations pending their expected sales during the current fiscal year. Agway had previously announced it was exploring the sale of Hood and of its approximately 34 percent stake in Curtice Burns. Because of this decision, revenues of the two subsidiaries were not included in Agway's 1993 consolidated sales. However, Agway's net margin of $19.8 million included a net loss of less than $6 million from the two food subsidiaries.
 The afternoon speaker today will be Dr. Lamartine F. Hood, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University. He will address the future of Northeast Agriculture.
 At its November meeting, the Agway board re-elected Heffner, of Pine Grove, Pa., as chairman and Charles C. Brosius of West Grove, Pa., as vice chairman. Saul continues as president, CEO, and general manager.
 Six incumbent directors, nominated earlier in the year, were officially elected Dec. 1 to three-year terms on the 18-member Agway board. They include Peter D. Hanks, of Salem, N.Y.; Robert L. Marshman, Oxford, N.Y.; Samuel F. Minor, Washington, Pa.; Donald E. Pease, Susquehanna, Pa.; Carl D. Smith, Corinna, Maine; and Joel L. Wenger, Greencastle, Pa. Other directors from Pennsylvania include Thomas E. Smith, Greenville, Pa.; and Christian F. Wolff, Jr., Bloomsburg, Pa. Director Frederick A. Hough, Augusta, N.J., also attended.
 The Hershey meeting is one of three being held in December. Others include Syracuse and Springfield, Mass. Agway, with headquarters in Syracuse, N.Y., is owned by 91,000 northeast farmers.
 -0- 12/9/93
 /CONTACT: Richard K. Arnold, director, corporate communications, of Agway Inc., 315-449-6201; after hours, 315-446-6175; or, by fax, 315-449-6253/

CO: Agway Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: AGR SU:

KL-AR -- CL003 -- 2090 12/09/93 09:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 9, 1993

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