CBH to link all business units under the one name

31 Mar, 2010 11:10 AM
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THE CBH Group is renaming its three core business units to more closely reflect it is an integrated business with a single purpose of uniquely linking growers to customers.

CBH Group Chairman, Neil Wandel made the announcement in his address to the CBH Group’s 77th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held today in Perth.

The most significant change will be to the CBH Group’s marketing arm Grain Pool, which will be renamed CBH Grain. Bulkwest Engineering, the specialist engineering business owned by CBH since 2001, will become CBH Engineering. Grain Operations, the storage and handling unit of the CBH Group, will undergo a minor change and be known as CBH Operations.

Mr Wandel said that aligning the business units under the CBH Group brand clarifies and reinforces that the CBH Group is one, integrated business focussed on creating value for growers beyond the farm-gate.

“Getting these businesses to work together more effectively and efficiently to create value for our growers is the key to our future,” Mr Wandel said.

“We have been considering this rebrand for sometime and many growers and customers have indicated that aligning all business units under the CBH banner would be beneficial. We’re aiming to make it simpler and clearer for our growers and customers when they do business with us.”

Mr Wandel also told the meeting that the Board was making good progress on its commitment to find out how shareholders wanted value returned to them and to use those findings to determine the best future structure for the CBH Group.

“The focus during the recent Director elections on the co-operative-versus-corporate debate does not negate the need for the investigation we are now doing – it reinforces it.

“Structure has never been off our agenda and we are now several months in to a process we hope will get the best outcome for shareholders.

“To achieve a successful outcome – one which may ultimately require the support of at least 75% of you – we know your priorities must be central to all our considerations.

“This is a complex process - there are pros and cons in every structural option. However we hope to be in a position to discuss with our shareholders by September a preferred viable model, or models, which will maximise returning value to shareholders in the way they want it.”

On the eve of his first anniversary as Chief Executive Officer for the CBH Group, Dr Andrew Crane told shareholders the CBH Group’s financial performance had improved significantly in 2008-09. That included a near tripling in net profit after tax to $119 million, largely driven by the Western Australia’s 2008 harvest being the third biggest on record at 12.3 million tonnes.

“It is very important in an organisation like ours that we look behind headline profits and consider where that money goes,” he said.

“The unique nature of CBH means that all the profits we make are directed towards benefitting growers.”

Dr Crane said the next challenge for shareholders would be to decide where they wanted to take their business in the future.

“Now more than ever, CBH Group is a unique player in the Australian grain industry,” he said.

“We are the only business that remains grower-controlled but which has also built valuable strategic assets along the grain supply chain.

“Our challenge now is to create our own compelling vision for success, one which both employees and growers are proud to be a part of.

“I look forward to working with the Board and growers to define our future place in the world and delivering on that vision.”

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