NAOS CEO Insights

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 22 November 2019 By NAOS Asset Management

November 22, 2019

“Sizes [for clothing] will go out the window 10 years from now. Everyone will do their own body scan on a camera.” Chip Bergh, CEO, Levi Strauss

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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“You get peak hype around some new technology over a couple of years, 10-15 years before the technology actually proliferates. Just look at mobile phones or television. When we get out to the middle of the 2030s you will see AVs [autonomous vehicles] have an impact.” Scott Charlton, CEO, Transurban Group

“Sizes [for clothing] will go out the window 10 years from now. Everyone will do their own body scan on a camera.” Chip Bergh, CEO, Levi Strauss

“Whether you’re in mining, whether you’re in energy, whether you’re in banking, what it is doesn’t matter - you all will want to build your own technology capability.” Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Corp


“All media [is] facing challenging conditions.” Market Announcement, HT&E Ltd

“For the first time, Australians are spending more time listening to podcasts than their own music collections.” Market Announcement, HT&E Ltd

"I'm not saying we're going to close newsrooms but as you look at your balance sheet deteriorate you have to look at how you stem that... We've steered away from it because we believe how important it is to our audiences but largely news is unsupported by commercial partners unlike other programming. So at some point it's going to have to be a real consideration." John Hartigan, Chairman, Prime Media Ltd


“We anticipate there will be a lot of demand for recycled plastic over the years to come.” Alison Watkins, CEO, Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd

“We have seen the question and the concerns from customers on the impact that aviation has on the environment has come up on the agenda.” Johan Lundgren, CEO, easyJet Plc


“Supply [of childcare centres] is being driven more by property developers rather than people doing [a] rationale assessment of the supply-demand issues.” Julia Davison, CEO, Goodstart Early Learning [Australia's largest childcare operator]

Global Economy

“Global container demand, as expected, was lower in Q3 due to weaker growth in the global economy.” Soren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller – Maersk [world’s largest container ship company]

“Brexit uncertainty and weaker construction activity continue to be headwinds in the UK.” Heath Sharp, CEO, Reliance Worldwide

Domestic Economy

“As more Australians live longer, the number of working age Australians for every person aged over 65 diminishes, whereas in 1974-75 it was 7.4 to one and 40 years later in 2014-15, it was 4.5 to one. It’s estimated over the next four decades to fall to just 2.7 to 1.” Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer of Australia

“The Australian economy is still in better shape than most developed economies around the world.” Alison Watkins, CEO, Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd

“In Australasia, growth in ‘same corporate’ [travel] bookings has softened over the past few months, which we attribute to a general slowdown in the Australian and New Zealand economies and declining business confidence.” Darrin Grafton, CEO, Serko Ltd [ASX listed travel booking software company]

US Economy

“As we enter the holiday season and based on what we observed in the third quarter, the North American consumer seems to be in excellent shape. The economy is strong, jobs are plentiful, and the consumer sentiment remains high.” Richard Hayne, CEO, Urban Outfitters Inc

“What I would say is the macro and housing environment have played out right in line with our expectations. And the description we would use is housing is healthy and stable. There's no doubt that recent movements in the rate environment are going to create support for that stability.” Richard McPhail, CFO, The Home Depot Inc


“We are emerging from a challenging 9-month period of intense competition and seemingly softer macro-economic conditions. There are encouraging early signs of growth in affiliated fleet and in payment turnover.” Andrew Skelton, CEO, A2B Australia Ltd [name has changed from Cabcharge Ltd]


“Year-to-date tradings shows continued growth in WA, while the east coast remains consistent with the prior year. While project and infrastructure activity remains in line with prior year, the outlook is positive.” Ryan Stokes, MD, Seven Group Ltd

Mining & Materials

“We are starting to see a slight improvement in [mining testing] sample volumes.” Raj Naran, MD, ALS Ltd



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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