Aryzta strengthens management team to meet challenges

This week in business: Nike’s results, Retail Excellence, and a whistleblowers’ conference

The Retail Excellence eCommerce Conference is on Wednesday at Crown Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

The Retail Excellence eCommerce Conference is on Wednesday at Crown Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

 

Monday

Results: Aryzta.

Indicators: German business climate, current conditions and expectations (Sep).

Meetings: World Financial Symposium for aviation industry (Convention Centre Dublin); Spotahome Irish launch – discussion on digitising rental property market (Dean Hotel, Dublin 2).

Aryzta’s recent appointment of Kevin Toland and Frédéric Pflanz as chief executive and chief financial officer respectively has come at a challenging time for the company. Longstanding chief executive Owen Killian and two other top executives departed in March.

The Swiss-Irish baked goods maker, which posts full-year results on Monday, has an immediate need to address debt reduction and margin stabilisation.

Stabilising its operations in North America is also seen as a major priority for the new management team. A fuller picture of Aryzta’s health will soon become clear.

Goodbody recently said the two appointments represented “another step in Aryzta strengthening its senior management team”.

Ahead of FY2017, Davy said it has taken a more cautious view on the ebita (earnings before interest, tax and amortisation) margin in North America, thus lowering FY2017 and FY2018 forecasts for earnings per share by 3.7 per cent and 8.6 per cent respectively.

“We have left our underlying revenue growth assumptions unchanged. Given Aryzta’s elevated debt metrics and the capital-intensive nature of the operating model, free cash generation is now a defining key performance indicator.”

However, it said the company retains “impressive” supply-chain capability and customer reach.

“The next phase of development will require dexterity as management pursues initiatives to de-lever while maintaining the integrity of the franchise.”

Tuesday

Results: Micron Technology, Nike, AG Barr.

Indicators: US home prices (Jul), home sales (Aug), consumer confidence (Sep).

Meetings: International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Europe Biotechnology Conference (Crown Plaza, Santry, Dublin); International Service Design Experience – conference on service design in public and private sectors (Fota Island Resort, Cork).

Wednesday

Results: Origin Enterprises.

Indicators: Euro zone loan growth (Aug); UK housing prices (Sep); US mortgage applications and rates (Sep).

Meetings: Retail Excellence eCommerce Conference (Crown Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15); Viatel GDPR (general data protection regulation) and cyber security briefing (Guinness Storehouse, Dublin 8).

Thursday

Results: Accenture.

Indicators: Irish retail sales (Aug); euro zone services, economic and industrial sentiment (Sep), consumer inflation expectations (Sep), business and consumer confidence (Sep); German consumer confidence (Oct), inflation (Sep); US corporate profits (Q2), GDP growth (Q2).

Meetings: Irish Management Institute (IMI) National Management Conference (IMI Conference Centre, Sandyford, Dublin 16); Transparency International’s Integrity at Work Conference 2017 (Radisson Blu, Golden Lane, Dublin 8); Environment Ireland Conference 2017 (Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin 3).

At its inaugural conference on Thursday, Transparency Ireland’s Integrity at Work Programme will offer guides on how employees can speak up “safely” on workplace practices.

It comes in a modern era of high-profile whistleblowing cases, in which corporate cultures are being encouraged to more proactively address the concerns of those who work for them.

“Members of the Integrity at Work Programme have a chance to develop progressive and ethical workplaces where staff are supported to speak up about wrongdoing,” said Stephanie Casey, IAW programme manager, in a promotional video ahead of the event. “This conference will bring together experts in whistleblowing, protected disclosures, compliance and governance to discuss how the law, policy and practice come together to help employers support their staff to speak up safely.”

It is the first event of its kind by Transparency International Ireland, the Irish chapter of the worldwide movement against corruption.

Comprising workshops and panel discussions, the event will hear from Anna Myers, director of Whistleblowing International Network; Niall Fitzgerald, head of ethics and governance at Chartered Accountants Ireland; Wendy Addison, chief executive of SpeakOut/SpeakUp; Bob Matheson, senior policy officer at Public Concern at Work; and barrister Lauren Kierans, founder of the Irish Whistleblowing Law Society.

Friday

Indicators: Irish overseas travel (Jun-Aug), construction output (Q2); euro zone inflation flash (Sep); UK consumer confidence (Sep), GDP growth (Q2), mortgage lending (Aug); German import prices, retail sales, unemployment (Sep).

Meetings: ConneXions 2017 free event on digital technology, culture and education in Ireland and France (Richmond Barracks, Dublin 8).

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