A2 Milk continues to experience strong revenue growth as consumers change behaviour

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”

After the pandemic we must deal with global recession – but there will be corporate opportunities, too

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”

Blis gets a lift as Covid-19 builds the public’s hunger for immune-boosting products

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”

Part 2: The economics and politics of coronavirus are hard to discern but may surprise

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”

A former big-shot at Walmart gives the PM and her team a lesson in leadership and personal sacrifice

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”

Former NZ diplomat lands key post with major public relations company in US

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.

Going on the front foot – the lessons Black Caps could learn from businessman who chairs Cricket NZ

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”