RED River Co-op has just put 216,000 envelopes in the mail containing cheques averaging $230.02 -- representing 12.75 cents per litre of gasoline bought during the past year -- up from an average of $192.00 a year ago.
That's a total of $49.7 million, making it the highest payout in Red River's 75-year history.
"That's a record year, our highest allocation," said Gregg Reiter, Red River's general manager.
It had sales of $539.7 million last year and a net profit of more than $61.5 million. In the past five years, Red River has paid out more than $180.8 million to its members. In order to be eligible for the rebate cheque, all a driver has to do is buy a $5 lifetime membership.
There are nearly 232,000 members in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario, up from 220,900 just over a year ago.
Reiter said Red River hasn't expanded its network of gas stations, convenience stores and car washes during the past two years because it's been tough to find the right land. It plans to expand its pump island and add a second car wash at its location on McPhillips Street.
Red River has 31 gas bar locations, four card locks and provides propane delivery service to farm and commercial accounts in Winnipeg and communities including Selkirk, Stonewall, Teulon, Gimli, Ste. Agathe, Niverville and Kenora, Ont.
-- Geoff Kirbyson