NAOS CEO Insights

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 12 July 2019 By NAOS Asset Management

July 12, 2019
"I know nationally, based on the number from this time last year to currently, it's around 18 to 20 per cent less wool that's being tested and sampled and going through the auction system."  Matt Bartlett, Director, Wool Producers Australia

As part of the NAOS investment process, we pay particular attention to the comments made by company CEOs and business leaders in order to gain a greater understanding of the current investment environment and key trends that may be emerging. Below are quotes from the week which in our view detail some of the most important and prominent industry trends and economic factors impacting their businesses.  
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"A limited pool of sheep meat, particularly high quality, combined with growing demand in key markets, namely China and the US, has underpinned robust prices on both sides of the Tasman. Demand fundamentals remain strong despite record prices from key suppliers." Statement from Meat & Livestock Australia

Food & Drink

"What we’re seeing in the industry is a trend towards smaller packs. So consumers are somehow – either the size of the household or the particular occasions where they’re consuming our products, consumers are moving to smaller packs." Ramon Laguarta, CEO, PepsiCo Inc

"The [craft beer] space has become a lot more competitive than it has been. It's become a little more challenging.'' Trevor O'Hoy, former CEO, Foster's Group

“Growth of the craft [beer] segment is slowing.'' Julian Sheeze, Vice-President of Corporate Affairs, Carlton & United Breweries


"[The impact to revenue] varies by operator and varies by format ... it depends on how restrictive they make it [the QLD governments push to ban marketing of junk food on billboards]. The problem is that it's a very hard category to regulate because what's unhealthy - trans fats, high sugar - depends on what ingredients you put in it and that's going to be quite tricky." Steve O'Connor, CEO, JC Decaux

Domestic Retail

“Young kids are learning about brands far earlier than ever before and there’s a big demand out there to wear the right shoe when they go to kindergarten and so on. I think parents in general want to dress their kids with better product.” Daniel Agostinelli, CEO, Accent Group Ltd

“Even though we are experiencing an extremely competitive retail environment, particularly in Australia, with intensive competitor clearance related activities and lower foot traffic, the company has continued to deliver improved sales momentum for the fourth quarter." Daniel Bracken, CEO, Michael Hill International Ltd

Global Retail

"We do expect ongoing pressure for the remainder of the year due to a weak department store environment, continued door closures and pressure on our customers' open-to-buy budgets." Harmit Singh, CFO, Levi Strauss & Co

Domestic Property

 “We can see in Sydney and Melbourne, where the [housing slowdown] impacts were greatest, a 40-50% improvement in inquiry levels, from a low base. It’s slowly translating into increased sales as well. So there is definitely a degree of pent-up demand and now it is really going to come down to credit availability.” Mark Steinert, CEO, Stockland

"There are tentative signs of increased activity with both lodgement numbers and volumes up significantly for the quarter." David Bailey, CEO, Australian Finance Group Ltd

Banking and Finance

 “In the prevailing environment, a serviceability floor of more than 7 percent is higher than necessary for ADIs to maintain sound lending standards.” Wayne Byres, Chairman, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority [APRA]

"There are tentative signs of increased activity with both lodgement numbers and volumes up significantly for the quarter." David Bailey, CEO, Australian Finance Group Ltd

“Most people in our [private equity] industry today would expect some sort of economic softness in the next couple of years, so people are generally steering clear of businesses that are going to be significantly impacted by a period of economic softness.” Ben Gray, Founder, BGH Capital


"There’s a heightened awareness of the recycling issue and there’s certainly now a preference towards products where there’s an increasing recycled content." Nigel Garrard, CEO, Orora Packaging


"Iron ore demand is near its peak. There is very limited growth potential for China's iron ore demand." Xu Xiangchun, Chief Information Officer, MySteel

“With the softening of [coal] prices in the first half of 2019 the market is expected to rebalance as high cost producer’s moderate production. Exports from swing producers in the United States and Colombia have declined given the price environment.” Whitehaven Coal, Market Announcement

"Over the last couple of years, we've enjoyed a couple of significant price increases, with the current price for Tasmanian blue gum [woodchip] in the order of US$182 (AUD$260) per bone-dry tonne and that's the highest it's ever been." Tony Price, MD, Midway Timber


"Software and technology is the biggest industry in the world and continuing to grow really, really fast. Everything is becoming a technology problem now." Mike Cannon-Brookes, Co-CEO, Atlassian Inc

Global Economy

 “Many FOMC participants saw that the case for a somewhat more accommodative monetary policy had strengthened. Since then, based on incoming data and other developments, it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook.” Jerome Powell, Chairman, US Federal Reserve


Important information: This material has been prepared by NAOS Asset Management Limited (ABN 23 107 624 126, AFSL 273529) (NAOS) for general information purposes only and must not be construed as investment advice. Certain economic, market or company information contained in this material may have been obtained from published sources prepared by third parties. Nothing contained herein should be construed as granting by implication or otherwise, any license or right to use such third party content without the written permission of the owner.
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