Costa Group chief executive retires

Costa Group chief executive Harry Debney is retiring after 10 years at the helm, in a new era of leadership at the fruit and vegetable grower. Mr Debney will step down in the next nine months and Costa will search internally and externally for his replacement, shareholders were told via the annual general meeting on Friday. Mr Debney joined Costa in 2010 after eight years as chief executive for packaging giant Visy.

The news comes after the company lost chief financial officer Linda Kow in May, who left the company after 10 years. Her replacement is Wayne Johnston, who most recently worked for Sigma Healthcare.

The business' recovery from COVID-19 was a major theme of the meeting with shareholders on Friday after Costa in April withdrew calendar year earnings guidance.

Mr Debney said in Australia, demand for Costa products from retailers was solid. This is the grower's main market. There was reduced demand at wholesale level due to restaurants and cafes being closed. Overseas, staff have almost completed the berry harvest in China and Morocco despite health and safety difficulties.

There have been good yields in both countries. The production of citrus fruit in Australia will be a big factor in the company's futures for the remainder of the year. This was a work in progress due to smaller fruit sizing, Mr Debney said.

Source: au.finance.yahoo.com


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