NATIONAL Foods Holdings Limited (NFHL) has appointed Michael Lashbrook as the new chief executive officer with effective from January 1 this year.
Lashbrook has been the food manufacturing company’s acting CEO following the resignation of Jeremy Brooke who left to pursue other business interests. Brooke left the company in October after 22 years of service and had been CEO since 2007.
National Foods group legal executive and company secretary Leigh Caroline Howes confirmed Lashbrook’s appointment.
Lashbrook was born in Zimbabwe and educated at Falcon College. He holds a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Natal and an MBA from the University of Southern Queensland.
“His entire working career has been spent in the agriculture and agri-industrial sector, including a role as production director in an export horticulture and integrated wholesale beef operation prior to joining NFHL,” Howes said in a statement
Lashbrook had been chief operations officer for NFHL since August 2008.
According to the group’s financial results for the year ended June 30 2014, delivered revenue grew by 11% as volumes sold increased by 8% compared to the previous financial year.
The group’s margins grew fractionally to 23% despite reviewing pricing in order to remain competitive while it also recorded a non-recurring profit of $1,5 million realised primarily on the disposal of some assets.
“Whilst the deficit in locally grown maize, wheat and soya beans remains, we are compelled to maintain long future priced pipelines of imported raw materials which can affect our margins in periods of commodity pricing volatility,” chairman Todd Moyo said.
Moyo said although the maize milling division posted good results, with volumes increasing by 19%, the flour milling division experienced subdued trading patterns.
Revenue decreased by 1% due to lower realisation per tonne of wheat sold.
Year-on-year profitability dropped by 13% as the company continued to sacrifice margin in order to hold volumes against flour imports.