As the 2019 working year nears an end, it’s time to recap the top stories from the week that has been. Read what happened this week on Inside FMCG.
Woolworths shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of merging its liquor and hospitality businesses into Endeavour Group. Over 99.5 per cent of shareholders approved the restructure. Woolworths drinks business and its 75 per cent stake in ALH will be transferred into a distinct legal entity within the Group. After the ALH merger is completed, Endeavour Group will be 85.4 per cent owned by Woolworths, with the remaining 14.6 per cent owned by Bruce Mathieson Group.
Supermarket Coles has transformed its operating systems with new technology that will improve product availability and reduce costs. It will transition to renowned global supply chain management, GT Nexus, to streamline imports and allow real time visibility across its international supply chain. Infor built the new system to improve efficiencies and have fewer truck movements that will cut costs and lower carbon emissions.
Coca-Cola Amatil’s group chief financial officer (CFO) Martyn Roberts resigned to join ASX-listed Ramsay Health Care. Roberts will continue in his role with Amatil over the coming months and the soft drinks giant will search for a new CFO in 2020. Amatil boss Alison Watkins noted the end of 2019 will mark the completion of the company’s two-year transition period, with the company remaining committed to its Shareholder Value Proposition targeting a return to mid-single digit earnings per share growth from 2020.
Coles Group’s Vintage Cellars was named Australia’s top premium brand while supermarket Harris Farm Markets (HFM) took the fifth spot, in a Roy Morgan consumer survey. The research agency said Harris Farms position came as a surprise given the other brands are either national or international. Retailer David Jones came in at number six.
Dairy giant Fonterra expanded its interest in Chilean milk processor, Prolesur, in a bid to streamline its operations in Chile. The Fundación sold its 13.6 per cent interest for NZ$29.3 million, taking Fonterra’s ownership of Prolesur from 86.2 per cent to 99.9 per cent. The milk processor sells most of its production to Soprole, a dairy company in the country which is 99.9 per cent owned by Fonterra. Fonterra CEO AMENA Kelvin Wickham said the latest move will allow the dairy cooperative to “simplify the interface between Prolesur and Soprole and take steps to better integrate the two businesses”.
That’s it for this week and for 2019. Enjoy the holidays! Inside FMCG will be back with regular news updates on January 6.