At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on lives and livelihoods, and sage economists are telling us the economic slump underway is “truly enormous”, it is almost impossible to find any chinks of light in the encircling gloom.
ANZ economists say the pandemic has
“ … stopped the global economy in its tracks and the impacts of this crisis will be with us in months and years to come”.
Not good news for an economy which is already feeling the effects of the crash of two its main export-earning props.
But, wait, what about the bulletin from A2 Milk on Wednesday?
The company which last provided an update on its trading performance on February 27 reported that, since then, it has continued to experience strong revenue growth across all key regions, particularly for infant nutrition products sold in China and Australia.
“We are now able to confirm that our revenue for the three months to March 31 (3Q20) was above expectations. This primarily reflected the impact of changes in consumer purchase behaviour arising from the Covid-19 situation and included an increase in pantry stocking of our products particularly via online and reseller channels. We are unable to estimate the timing and extent to which pantry stocking may unwind. Continue reading “A2 Milk continues to experience strong revenue growth as consumers change behaviour”
New Zealand businesses which found themselves looking into the abyss of a largely moribund economy can now lift their vision towards revival, as the government signals the move into lockdown level three.
To a degree the vision is still clouded: one of NZ’s biggest enterprises, Fonterra, has warned its farmer-suppliers of the imminent global recession, which it foresees will extend deep into 2021, while calling on them to be “cautious” with their on-farm decisions.
Fonterra chairman John Monaghan says the global recession will impact people’s purchasing power and that will be reflected in prices for all products and services.
“The scale of the impact is impossible for economists to predict right now.”
Clearly, it won’t be easy, nor speedy, to recover from the lockdown, and the impact of the pandemic. Continue reading “After the pandemic we must deal with global recession – but there will be corporate opportunities, too”
One of the phenomena of the Covid-19 outbreak has been the sudden urge of people to strengthen their immune systems. Products carrying an immune-boosting value have been in strong demand.
The consequence for a Dunedin company, Blis Technologies, is that since February it has more than doubled its output.
Blis Technologies, which holds a world-first patent for the strain of oral bacteria, Streptococcus salivarius , was founded in 2000 by Professor John Tagg, whose lifelong studies in microbiology stemmed from having rheumatic fever as a teenager.
That led to his researching helpful bacteria that might be harnessed to fight disease-causing bacteria, culminating in the production of a range of probiotics.
Clinical studies have shown that probiotic therapy can be used to improve immune health and keep harmful pathogens at bay. Continue reading “Blis gets a lift as Covid-19 builds the public’s hunger for immune-boosting products”
So to be clear, at this stage not much is clear. But it’s surely possible to draw out a few facts and try to isolate what might emerge as significant.
Point one: We can be reasonably sure that there will be a large fall in measured economic output.
This will capture the changes in our collective economic behaviour, both voluntary changes in response to events, and those mandated by governments. Think restaurant meals uneaten, movies not watched, flights not taken, bungees not jumped, houses not painted, and so forth. Some things postponed, some gone for ever. Continue reading “Part 2: The economics and politics of coronavirus are hard to discern but may surprise”
The country’s national airline, Air New Zealand, has scrapped its financial forecasts for the current year because of the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 virus, as it cuts more services and freezes hiring, Radio NZ reported today.
Last month it cut its forecast of underlying earnings to be in the range of $300m-$350m from $350m-$450m, estimating that the virus might cost it as much as $75m.
CEO Greg Foran says the airline is now facing an unprecedented situation and it is difficult to predict future demand.
“We have been continuously monitoring bookings and in recent days have seen a further decline which coincides with media coverage of the spread of Covid-19 to most countries on our network as well as here in NZ” Continue reading “A former big-shot at Walmart gives the PM and her team a lesson in leadership and personal sacrifice”
High-flying former New Zealand diplomat Kirsty Graham has been appointed CEO Global Public Affairs for major US public relations company, Edelmans. She takes up her duties at the end of February.
Dunedin-born Graham’s last MFAT post was deputy head of mission at the NZ Mission to the United Nations in New York. She also served in Washington DC and on the staff of former foreign minister Sir Don McKinnon.
From New York she was recruited by the US drug manufacturer Pfizer as senior vice president, corporate affairs for its Biopharmaceuticals Group and senior vice president Global Policy and International Affairs. She has also been vice president and Corporate Affairs lead for the company’s Essential Health group.
During her 10 years at Pfizer, Graham also held the title of vice president, Policy, External Affairs and Communications for the Primary Care Business unit as well as senior director, International Public Affairs for Asia-Pacific and Canada.
Graham will become a member of Edelmans’ Operating Committee, whose businesses operate in more than 125 countries and have a portfolio of more than 600 products generating about three-quarters of the company’s revenues.
Greg Barclay is a popular figure on NZ cricket grounds. As chairman of NZ Cricket, he has seen the Black Caps march up to Number 2 in world rankings.
On his watch the team came achingly close to winning the World Cup and in the last week the Black Caps trounced the touring English team at the Bay Oval.
Whether they can win the test series is now the issue as the second test begins in Hamilton.
Barclay is a man of many talents, as one might expect. In between the cricket tests, he has presided over the kind of breathtaking performance by a company on the NZX which Black Caps captain Kane Williamson would be happy to replicate on the field. Continue reading “Going on the front foot – the lessons Black Caps could learn from businessman who chairs Cricket NZ”