NAOS CEO Insights

May 17, 2024

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 17 May 2024

“When I look at what it costs me now to run my warehouses as opposed to a couple of years ago, it’s 100 per cent more. Anything you do at the moment in development costs is just so high and the government is not doing anything to reduce that.”

Domestic Manufacturing

“History serves as a stark reminder of what happens when industries fail to adapt. Once-thriving sectors like the automotive and textiles industries are now largely or entirely imported. We cannot afford to let the same fate befall our food and grocery manufacturing sector. It’s imperative that we embrace change, support innovation, and invest in the future of our industry.” Darren O’Brien, CEO, Mondelez Australia [owner of Cadbury]

New Zealand, US & Southeast Asian Economies

“There has also been a notable slowdown in house sales in the New Zealand market and an end to the house price momentum seen through the first half of FY24” Market Statement, Fletcher Building Ltd

"We in the industry are all seeing this kind of pressure from the headwinds of the consumer. We definitely felt it coming into the second quarter and so we know that value is going to be something we talk about for the rest of the year” Darin Harris, CEO, Jack in the Box [US fast food chain]

“Consumer activity was strong across Southeast Asia.” Ping Yeow Tan, CEO, Grab Holdings Ltd [this region’s largest ridesharing company]

Inflationary Impacts

"Of ongoing concern is the widening gap between our increased production costs, some of which have risen by as much as 70% post-pandemic” Fiona Allan, CEO, Opera Australia

“Raw material prices continue to rise as our suppliers reduce [offset] labour and energy costs” Katsuyuki Mizuma, CFO, Subaru Corp.

Bureaucracy & Development

“Both Federal and State Governments across Australia have committed significant budgets to the housing crisis however this is yet to translate to any material award of orders to market participants which is particularly frustrating given our current capacity to provide a further 1,000 homes, Fleetwood stands ready to deliver” Bruce Nicholson, CEO, Fleetwood Ltd

“When I look at what it costs me now to run my warehouses as opposed to a couple of years ago, it’s 100 per cent more. Anything you do at the moment in development costs is just so high and the government is not doing anything to reduce that.” Gerry Harvey, Executive Chair, Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd

Interest Rates

“It is harder to sell apartments now than ever before, the market for selling is definitely not rising...and it won’t rise much until we drop our interest rates” Harry Triguboff, CEO, Meriton Group

Podcasts & Advertising

“Podcast listening has now reached mass appeal, and we had our highest annual average audience to date. The appetite to stream live radio on digital platforms continues to grow” Ciaran Davis, CEO, ARN Media Ltd

"If I'm sitting as an advertiser or an agency, I'm going to want my dollars to follow where the eyeballs are going and look at where they're coming from and where they're going. And so if I look at the portfolio, they're not really leaving – the audiences aren't leaving sports, the audiences aren't leaving live news. Where they are leaving is linear delivered entertainment” Steve Tomsic, CFO, Fox Corporation

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“Outboard motors in developed countries, [where] there were concerns of economic decline, which led to a decline in demand” Motofumi Shitara, Exec. Director, Yamaha Motor Corp


“If you look at this size, our new electricity consumption of data centres worldwide was 460 kilowatts. And actually, if you compare with the consumption in the U.K. in electricity, it is already exceeding. And how are we going to solve this kind of issue is something that we need to address.” Yoshimitsu Goto, CFO, Softbank Group

Commercial Real Estate

“Office buildings have historically been the most capital-intensive form of real estate. And people, because they were viewed as trophies, didn’t focus on that.” Jon Gray, COO, Blackstone Inc


“As cyber threats increase by the day, not a week goes by that our teams are not called in to assist companies dealing with a security incident. The pace and complexity of these attacks are growing as is the regulatory requirements for companies dealing with them.” Raul Fernandez, CEO, DXC Technology Co. [major multinational IT services company]

Skills Shortages

“We need more engineers” Sir James Dyson, Chairman, Dyson Ltd

Agriculture & Turf

“Across all our major markets, we see continued softening in grower sentiment as the combined impacts of rising global stocks, lower commodity prices, high interest rates and weather volatility weigh on customer purchase decisions. Amidst this backdrop, and rising uncertainty, we're seeing customers exercise greater discretion in their equipment purchases, which is reflected in the changes in our industry guide this quarter.” Josh Rohleder, Head of IR, John Deere & Company

Global Investment

“The IEA [International Energy Agency] estimates a record $2.8 trillion was invested in energy last year, of which $1.8 trillion was in clean energy. Under the IEA's net zero 2050 scenario, the estimate energy investment needs to reach nearly $5 trillion by 2030. And to be clear, that AUD 5 trillion needs to continue at those levels through 2050 and beyond.” Chris Ashton, CEO, Worley Ltd

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