For the industry, the past year has been one in which many of us have felt the crunch of the ongoing skills shortage. There simply aren’t enough qualified technicians to go around. But while that has been a major challenge, it has been inspiring to see the way the industry has responded over the past twelve months. We’re hiring more apprentices now than we have in recent years, helping bolster our pipeline of future talent. In Australia, hopefully, the Federal Government’s decision to include a range of automotive trades on the Apprenticeship Priority List (lifting the direct payment received by automotive apprentices from $5,000 to $15,000) will help boost numbers even further.
Bringing new people into the industry, and training them, is the best way to solve the skills crisis. But there is still an immediate shortage of skilled technicians, which is why Capricorn has welcomed some new Preferred Suppliers in the past year who can help Members bring in qualified technicians from overseas. Those Members who have already taken advantage of these services report they have been a great success. It won’t be the right solution for every workshop, but if you need qualified technicians, we suggest you use the Purple Pages to explore this option. Not only could this benefit your business, but it could also benefit the automotive industry as a whole.
The other big takeaway from the past year is the faith Members have in their own businesses. We’re seeing Members investing in equipment and improvements to their workshops. There’s a sense of optimism about the future. We’re seizing the opportunities in front of us.
Demand from Members for Capricorn’s services has been exceptionally strong this year—and as a cooperative, our results are a direct reflection of the activity in the wider industry. If Capricorn is doing well, Members are doing well. As a Member-based organisation, our results are your results and we cannot wait to announce them.
Member purchases from Preferred Suppliers reached $3.40 billion this financial year, up 16% in 2022. Capricorn’s overall profit after tax was $31.0 million.
More than $50.1 million in Capricorn Rewards Points were earned, and a Trade Rebate of $17 million was paid to Members for Trade Account purchases made throughout the year. This rebate will be issued as Bonus Rewards Points on Members’ September 2023 statement.
In calculating the value of our returns to Members, Capricorn considers both monetary and non-monetary benefits. We call it “Member Value Return” or MVR.
In 2023 we returned $82.8 million in value to Members (up from $63.3 million in 2022) which equates to an MVR of 26.7%. That means for every dollar invested in Capricorn, Members received a 26.7% return.
The Board has declared an ordinary dividend of 7 cents per share in relation to the year ended 30 June 2023. During the FY23 year, $9.9 million was distributed to Member shareholders by way of an ordinary dividend of 5 cents per share in relation to the year ended 30 June 2022.
Capricorn’s protection division also had another year of strong growth. Capricorn Risk Services wrote $121.9 million in gross protection for Capricorn Mutual Limited.
In the last financial year, Capricorn Finance assisted Members by providing $49.8 million in loans, up from $33.01 million in 2022. What’s so deeply satisfying about this figure is it shows Members investing in the future of their businesses.
Finally, in 2022-23 Capricorn Travel booked $6.6 million in holidays during the year. This business unit was hit hard by the pandemic, so it’s great to see it picking up again as Members book well-earned breaks.
Looking to the year ahead, we see a mixture of challenges and opportunities. There are some economic headwinds, with uncertain interest rates, inflation and a higher cost of living. We’re probably heading into a period where customers have less disposable income and stretch out their servicing or become a little more price-sensitive. The good news is when customers are feeling the pinch, they usually put off buying a new car and spend money keeping their existing car safe and reliable. Whatever happens, we’ve seen how resilient our industry can be— and Capricorn will be right there alongside you to help your business thrive. We are always stronger together.
This month, Capricorn shareholders will receive their Capricorn Wealth Certificate. This certificate outlines the Capricorn Rewards Points, dividends and Trade Volume Rebate received over the past 12 months. Members will be notified when their Wealth Certificate becomes available and can access it by logging into myCAP using their shareholder number.
Once you have seen all the hardearned points on your Wealth Certificate, log in to capricorn. coop/rewards to check your points balance and discover all the fantastic products available through Capricorn Rewards.*
The past performance of Capricorn is no indication of future returns.
Shares are issued by Capricorn Society Limited (ACN 008 347 313). No offer of shares is made in this article or publication. An offer of shares will only made in, or accompanied by, Capricorn’s Prospectus and any Supplementary Prospectus which is available on request or may be viewed at capricorn. coop under “Corporate Documents.” Before making any decision to apply for shares you should consider the prospectus and any supplementary prospectus. Any application for shares must be made on the application form in or accompanying the Prospectus.
* Participation in Capricorn Rewards is subject to the Capricorn Rewards Terms and Conditions which can be found at cap.coop/tc.