John Shewan goes out to bat for Fonterra’s disappointed unit-holders

It’s  been  a  rough year  for  unit-holders in Fonterra  Shareholders Fund, with the unit price  slumping   from  $5.12   to   its  lowest point ever at  $3.15.  Chairman  John  Shewan  didn’t mince  words  when he told the Fund’s annual  meeting  this week  Fonterra’s  financial performance   had been  “very poor”   in 2019.

Not only had the unit price fallen markedly  but no distribution had been paid, he said.

This is disappointing and frustrating…Fonterra’s decision to not pay a dividend, and therefore a distribution to unit holders, as well as significantly impairing a small number of significant assets, no doubt came as a surprise to many of you. I understand and share the frustration that you rightfully feel, and the impact that Fonterra’s decisions have had on the unit price”.

Institutions and  private  wealth funds have  fled the  stock, the former declining from 25% to 15% and private wealth falling from 14% to 7%. Continue reading “John Shewan goes out to bat for Fonterra’s disappointed unit-holders”

Fraser Whineray: a results-oriented business leader with a track record on decarbonisation

Fonterra’s  board,  under   heavy  fire   for the losses racked up  in  the last two years,  may at last   be getting something  right.  Its recruitment of  Mercury’s  CEO Fraser Whineray to the newly created  post of  chief operating  officer   puts him in pole position to drive innovation,  efficiency, and  sustainability  in the co-op.

When he joins  Fonterra  next year  he will bring with him the credentials of having transformed Mercury,  simplifying the business  through the divestment of overseas interests and developing a  compelling strategy for  sustainable growth.

Harbour  Asset Management’s Shane Solly  said Whineray adds  “a  bit of grunt to the front row at Fonterra”.

In that  context, Point of Order  notes, Whineray  would be following the example of  his  renowned uncle,  the late Sir Wilson Whinerary,  who not only  captained the All  Blacks from the front row, but subsequently  had a  successful career as a businessman and  company director. Continue reading “Fraser Whineray: a results-oriented business leader with a track record on decarbonisation”

Captain Kirk is setting Kathmandu on a course to make it a global player in the leisure business

David Kirk,  who skippered the  All  Blacks  to  capture  the   World  Cup at the  first tournament back in 1987,  could be on  to  another  winner,  this time  as    chairman of Kathmandu  Holdings.

The company  sees  itself  becoming  a  global player in the outdoor  clothing and leisure business as it outlays  $368m to  buy iconic surf brand Rip Curl.

The  move  replicates    the  audacious spirit   which   marked  out  Kirk on the  Rugby  field.

Coincidentally, Kathmandu  was launched as a  company in 1987. Continue reading “Captain Kirk is setting Kathmandu on a course to make it a global player in the leisure business”

Looking for a star? We have the Plexure of suggesting it might be found in the cloud

Is  Plexure  the  next rising  star  on the  NZX,  ready to  follow  the  trajectory  of  Xero?

It’s  a  mobile  marketing  company, using an intelligent technology platform  which powers customers’ mobile marketing  activities.  The platform incorporates Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) features which augment Plexure’s capabilities in the areas of personalisation, advanced analytics and platform security.

Plexure’s trading performance has improved dramatically. Customer usage is at record levels and accelerating with 30m new users downloading its apps. This has driven revenues to a new high of $16.9m for the year ended  March 31, when  it had $7.3m in the bank.

Revenue guidance for   the current  year is in a range from $21m to $23m.  By comparison with the FY19 revenues of $16.9m, this represents a 24.3% rise at the lower end of the range and a 36.1% rise at the upper end of the range. Continue reading “Looking for a star? We have the Plexure of suggesting it might be found in the cloud”

Jacindamania rages again but pessimistic businesses need stimulation from something else – like a tax cut

Jacindamania is again raging  in  NZ  media  as  the  PM, after  extracting what she  could  from rubbing shoulders with Shinzo Abe and the All Blacks  in Japan, is high-fiving it  with  President  Donald Trump, the UK’s Boris Johnson,  and UN  Secretary-general Antonio Guterres in  New York.

But a   fresh outbreak  of  Jacindamania   may  not  overcome  growth-sapping business pessimism  about the way the government is steering the economy.

Surveys of business confidence in the government have show consistent pessimism about the economy since Labour took office in 2017.

The most recent ANZ Business Outlook found 52% of businesses surveyed expected economic conditions to deteriorate.  And the news that the country’s all-important construction industry is contracting is hardly likely to reverse  the trend. Continue reading “Jacindamania rages again but pessimistic businesses need stimulation from something else – like a tax cut”

The science of meetings: the experts find most of them tyrannise our offices and are woefully unproductive

The Cabinet will meet today without Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.  She has arrived in New York to join other world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly – and to meet with some of them.

A meeting with Donald Trump will be among the highlights.  Trade is likely to be top of the agenda. She will meet with Britain’s Boris Johnson, too.

Back on the home front, Winston Peters will chair today’s Cabinet meeting.

We can only conjecture on how many other meetings will be conducted around the country during the day, but in the US – according to an item on the Freakonomics website – 55 million meetings a day are held.

Most of them are woefully unproductive, and tyrannize our offices. The revolution begins now — with better agendas, smaller invite lists, and an embrace of healthy conflict. Continue reading “The science of meetings: the experts find most of them tyrannise our offices and are woefully unproductive”

The Single Economic Market: do the governments in Canberra and Wellington really want to advance the agenda?

Although the governments in Canberra and Wellington declare they are both committed to advancing the Single Economic Market (SEM) agenda, building on the success of the Closer Economic Relations (CER) Trade Agreement, the recent meeting of the respective trade ministers in Auckland didn’t produce much more than an array of platitudes, and certainly left business lobbies on both sides of the Tasman yawning.

Continue reading “The Single Economic Market: do the governments in Canberra and Wellington really want to advance the agenda?”