What is the reason for your visit and what has changed since the last time you were here?
Greg Spierkel (GS): The business continues to move forward for us here in this country. It is an opportunity for me to catch up on the business and meet the management team, follow up on how some of the initiatives are that we have underway. From an Australian point of view, while we don’t split up the revenues and the profitability for competitive reasons, the business is doing reasonably well here. We have had a good year and touch wood, we have another two months left to close the year; we are very happy with how things are performing so it is nothing but good news for us in this region.
In the region overall, our revenues are down slightly throughout Asia for the quarter we just finished, Q3, which we announced two weeks ago. The good news is that we have managed to hold on to profitability, we have been cautious with costs, and where there has been revenue decline we have been seeing through attrition and ability to take the cost down a little bit. You have to do that.
Guy Freeland is leaving at the end of the year and Jay Miley is taking up the role – what are your instructions to Jay?
GS: Take it to the next level; simple enough. There has been a great track record here over the last three years, Guy has done a good job and we have moved the profitability up, developed the business along a few new facets, and I think it is build on those so we can continue to differentiate the company from our competition.
I think our size and our reach already speaks to that but we can’t be complacent. So it is taking what we have got and taking it higher, better, faster and more efficiently. Jay will be doing that. He had a lot of success with this in New Zealand and, hopefully, he will continue on a similar path.
Guy has had good momentum here and it is time to continue to develop the business in another dimension. I see nothing but positive things in front of us with the market question mark hanging over us.
Speaking of the market question, how do you see it playing out over the next six months?
GS: We are not immune to the market dynamics as much as we would like to be. We probably have more diversity as a distributor than anybody because of our sheer size and footprint. There has been a conscious decision over the last few years to be in a broader base of geographies so the diversity would hopefully buffet us from negative dynamics in one region.