MITCH ALTERMATT, CEO & GENERAL MANAGER
With Fiscal Year 2023 in the rearview mirror, it’s an ideal time to reflect on the remarkable journey we’ve undertaken over the past year. When I took on the role of CEO in 2019, the directive from our Board of Directors was crystal clear: strengthen our balance sheet, improve profitability, reduce debt, and divest underperforming business units. Fiscal year 2023 will be etched in UFC history as a year of extraordinary achievements thanks to a stellar safety record and strong earnings; none of which would have been possible without the dedication and hard work of our entire UFC team.
STELLAR SAFETY RECORD AND STRONG EARNINGS:
One of our greatest accomplishments this year has been our exceptional safety record and the robust financial performance that followed. The hard work, dedication, and commitment of each UFC team member played a pivotal role in achieving these milestones. It is heartening to report that our safety initiatives have paved the way for our financial success, ensuring the well-being of our workforce and contributing to our prosperity.
We find ourselves in an enviable position, but we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. Instead, we will continue to press the accelerator to the floor, driven by the knowledge that there is always room for improvement and growth. The time has come to expand and diversify our operations, even in the face of current high interest rates, thanks to our robust cash position.
Our strong balance sheet has given us leverage to invest in capital assets and technology, both wisely and strategically. We remain committed to bolstering our rail infrastructure and end-use sites, recognizing that logistics will play a critical role in shaping our future success.
RATIONALIZING EXISTING ASSETS:
A difficult but necessary step lies ahead – rationalizing our existing assets. This means selling or shutting down aged and inefficient units that have become not only unsafe but also prohibitively expensive to operate. Some have even become impossible to insure in the open market. We recognize the emotional weight of this decision, but it is crucial for our long-term viability.
To further optimize our assets and human resources, we are actively exploring opportunities such as partnerships, LLCs, joint ventures, and mergers. UFC will not ride the wave of current success, and the status quo will not be tolerated. In the midst of an economic downturn, we must position ourselves to withstand these headwinds and emerge stronger.
LEVERAGING OUR STRENGTHS:
We will also harness our collective strength by working together with neighboring businesses to better serve our member-owners. Capitalizing on member value, we will reward our patrons with strong patronage and retire equity as quickly as possible. The Board of Directors and our management team are firmly committed to ensuring that UFC remains current and adaptive, and you will see us making strategic moves to achieve this.
In closing, I want to express my gratitude for your support in making fiscal year 2023 a monumental success. The challenges ahead are significant, but together we will navigate them with determination, innovation, and resilience!
“Fiscal year 2023 will be etched in UFC history as a year of extraordinary achievements thanks to a stellar safety record and strong earnings; none of which would have been possible without the dedication and hard work of our entire UFC team.”