New Zealand's Synlait Milk said on Monday it tapped former Fonterra director Grant Watson as its new chief executive as it reported an annual loss, hurt by reduced demand for its infant formula and pandemic-led disruption to its supply chain.
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Adds detail on CEO appointment, outlook, background

Sept 27 (Reuters) – New Zealand’s Synlait Milk SML.NZ said on Monday it tapped former Fonterra director Grant Watson as its new chief executive as it reported an annual loss, hurt by reduced demand for its infant formula and pandemic-led disruption to its supply chain.

Watson, who is currently chief executive officer of local dairy firm Miraka, will replace interim CEO John Penno, who took over after former head Leon Clement stepped down in April.

Watson has also previously worked at various positions in the world’s biggest dairy exporter Fonterra FCG.NZ, including as a director of Global Foodservice and acting director of Sales Fonterra Brands New Zealand.

Synlait earlier in the year had warned of an annual loss, reflecting the pressure dairy firms are facing due to pandemic-led disruption to their supply channels.

For the year ended July 31, it reported a net loss after tax of NZ$28.5 million ($19.98 million), compared with a profit of NZ$74.3 million a year earlier.

However, it expects its net profit after tax to be “robust” in fiscal 2022 on improved infant base powder volumes and likely return to normal trading conditions, it said in a statement.

 

Aurora Dairies, one of the largest milk producers in the country, has added Gray Wigg Gault’s Clydebank Aggregation in Victoria’s Gippsland region to its expanding portfolio for around $20 million.

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