Free audio stream, including stories that are padlocked on our site. Listen on any device, anywhere. Updated twice daily. The audio stream takes several seconds to start on Android devices.Launch Radio player
The departing boss of Coca-Cola in New Zealand is leaving disappointed that companies are not appreciated for making money but says the country has been a great place to do business and live in.
George Adams is moving back to Europe after serving nine years as managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil NZ and Fiji. Irishman Barry O'Connell, who runs the company's Austrian and Slovenian business, arrives in April to take over the role.
The company has about 55 percent of the non-alcoholic ready-to-drink market in New Zealand, where it competes with Frucor and supermarket brands. It employs 1100 people and makes a 20 percent return on capital.
"I absolutely loved New Zealand. But I think there is a degree of possibly immaturity in relation to our relationship with the need to be profitable," Mr Adams says.
"I'm not sure that people really understand that companies must make profits in order to reinvest."
Mr Adams, who has overseen $300 million worth of new capital investment in New Zealand, much of it in expanding its Christchurch operations, says there was a suspicion here than anything a company did was undermined by the profit motive.
"I'd like to see companies really being celebrated for being profitable," he told BusinessDesk.
"It's a good thing for investment, it is a good thing for employment and it is a good thing for our superannuation funds." Superannuation groups invest in companies to fund pensions.
"What I'd like to see potentially is reframing the discussion around the fact that actually companies must be profitable and it is a good thing."
A dislike of big business in this country was possibly connected to foreign ownership, but Fonterra had a pretty tough time.
Still, New Zealand was a great place to do business, he says.
"Honestly, I think we are a phenomenally attractive location to do business. The number of times I have done business with some of my biggest and best customers on the basis of handshakes leaves me extremely proud of the relationships that we have here."
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
- NZ could reap $190M/year benefit becoming first nation to allow beyond-line-of-sight drones
- Blue Chip's Bryers banned from managing NZ firms for 7 more years, bankruptcy lifted
- 'Some hassle' to NZ business following GCSB spying
- Fliway seizes chance to spread its wings
- Government convention centre spin – you be the judge