Moloney prepares for pastures new after Glanbia
Cantillon: outgoing managing director’s legacy will be that he completely changed the direction of the business
Group managing director of Glanbia John Moloney expects to remain active in business through roles such as non-executive director at Greencore and DCC. Photograph: Frank Miller
Glanbia group managing director John Moloney is preparing for pastures new. Yesterday he presided over his last set of results for the food group, and was “very happy” with the company’s performance – although he was quick to add that while the firm is in a strong position at present, “there have been plenty of difficult times as well. There has been a lot of change, and the company is quite different now.”
Not quite a lifer at Glanbia, Moloney joined the group from the Department of Agriculture in 1987. And for Goodbody analyst Liam Igoe, the Glanbia chief’s tenure at the food firm is “a text-book case of how to go about turning around a troubled business”.
Recalling how the group was in a “mire” after the initial merger between Avonmore Foods and Waterfood Foods in 1997, Igoe says it was facing in the wrong direction, expanding aggressively into international dairy commodity markets.
Moloney’s legacy will be that he managed to completely change the direction of the business, rolling back on some of the mistakes that had been made and refocusing the business on areas such as performance nutrition.
“That became the new focus. It took a long time to convert that idea into a workable business model, but slowly and surely it happened.
“And it has gathered greater momentum over the past half dozen years,” says Igoe.
Moloney will formally step down from his role as managing director this December and will hand over the reins to finance director Siobhán Talbot, a year earlier than expected.
For Moloney, the move is about effecting a “rebalance” in his life, but he expects to remain active in business through roles such as non-executive director at Greencore and DCC.
When is a housing recovery real?
Nobody (one hopes) wants to talk up residential property prices to dangerous, cliff-falling-off levels again but it seems to be undeniable that a little bit of a revival is occurring in the housing market, in Dublin at least. Depending on where you stand in the great merry-go-round, Tuesday’s figures could either be very good or very bad news. At the extremes, they will generate guarded optimism for the thousands of homeowners trapped in negative equity, while for the unquantified hordes (or maybe not) of house-hunters, they may be the source of panic.
The CSO found that residential prices climbed for the fourth month in a row in July and are now 2.3 per cent higher than a year ago, although this average masks differing performances for houses and apartments and, more notably, for property in Dublin and outside.
Economists are sensibly hesitant to proclaim a bottom for the market, with Davy’s experts noting that the CSO’s reliance on mortgage-based purchases makes its data pool relatively small. The broker observes that last year, just 0.7 per cent of the State’s housing stock was “transacted” through mortgage lending and says a more “normalised” level would be close to 3 per cent. Cash buyers, furthermore, accounted for about half of purchases in the second quarter of this year – hardly a sustainable position.