AsureQuality, the state-owned food testing company formed by the 2007 merger of Asure New Zealand and AgriQuality, named Hansells Food Group chief executive John McKay as its new CEO.
McKay will take up the position on June 3, according to a statement from interim CEO David Wright. McKay is departing Hansells as part of split up of the Auckland-based food manufacturer, which has agreed to sell its Masterton unit to an investor group led by chairman Alan Stewart and sell a suite of its brands to distribution firm Wilson Foods.
Hansells will retain a minority holding in Hansells Masterton, which will become a contract packer and manufacture the King, Empire, Brindavin and Sweetener brands on behalf of new owner Wilson. Stewart says the split will put the company on a stronger footing. Director and shareholder Ross MacKenzie has taken on the role of managing director of Hansells pending McKay's departure.
AsureQuality reported a 36 percent lift in profit to $10 million in the year ended June 30, 2013, which it attributed to gaining higher-margin work and a return to normal productivity levels after a drop-off in 2012. Revenue rose 3.6 percent to $160 million. It paid $8.5 million in normal and special dividends during the year.
In Hansell's latest year, it had net sales of $158.9 million and generated a profit of $4 million, from a year-earlier loss of $9.1 million.