New boss for troubled NZ Wine Company
The New Zealand Wine Company has announced a change in its chief executive role as Rob White has elected to resign after eight years with the company.
On June 28, bankers said they wanted to take a closer look at NZWC's finances after the company warned of a financial loss for 2011 and a failure to comply with one of its three financial covenants.
Peter Scutts stepped in for Mr White as chief executive, effective immediately, after working for NZWC for the last year to improve wine sales in Australia. Mr White will remain on for another two months to assist the new chief executive and the restructuring process of the company in general.
NZWC previously reported a loss of $1.898 million in the year to June 30, 2010, compared with a profit of $1.283 million the previous year, on revenue of $13m in 2010, compared with $12.5m (2009).
Shareholders' equity reduced by $3.3m to $18.63m at June 30, 2010, and market valuations of vineyard and winery assets reduced by 13 percent to $16.9m.
In 2008 it reported a net profit after tax of $2.04m in 2008.
It sold surplus 2008 bulk wine stocks at low or loss-making margins to enhance cashflow and reduce its wine stock to manageable levels, and later complained that the nation's wine surplus had resulted in severe price erosion in the marketplace
Mr Scutts has extensive experience in the wine industry, having worked in sales and marketing roles with Montana and as chief executive of The New Zealand Wine Fund.
NZWC chairman Alton Jamieson said he looked forward to Mr Scutts leading the management team in returning the company to profitability during the 2011/2012 year, and setting a platform for financially sustainable growth in coming years.
Mr Scutts said he was delighted with the opportunity.
"The world loves our wines and I am confident that we can overcome our current issues. I look forward to leading the committed team at Grove Mill into a new era of success and profitability."
Maurice McQuillan also retired from the company as director after 17 years. No replacement director will be appointed and the board will operate with five directors.