NAOS CEO Insights



April 3, 2020

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 03 April 2020 By NAOS Asset Management

“So up to now, the China smartphone market recovered to up around 80% to 90% of the January consumption. It's a very good signal” Wang Xiang, President, Xaomi Corporation [Chinese based & top 5 global smartphone maker]

As part of the NAOS investment process, we pay particular attention to the comments made by company CEOs and business leaders in order to gain a greater understanding of the current investment environment and key trends that may be emerging. Below are quotes from the week which in our view detail some of the most important and prominent industry trends and economic factors impacting their businesses.  


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Tourism & Travel

“Hotel bookings in the week to March 1 surged 40% from the previous week, while peak daily bookings for domestic flights soared 230% from the lowest level recorded in February” Market Announcement, Tongcheng-Elong Holdings [major listed Chinese online travel agency]

“The harsh reality is that most countries will take a cautious approach to allowing international tourism in the next year” Greg Foran, CEO, Air New Zealand

Food & Beverage

“While this [sales] increase is impacted by short term pantry stocking, we expect some level of elevated demand for at home cooking to continue. Schools are closed, people are staying at home, and that contributes to real incremental at home consumption” Lawrence Kurzius, CEO, McCormick & Company Inc [global food ingredient manufacturer]

“Today, it’s hard to comprehend that there were retailers reducing inventory in the first quarter, the world has changed so much” Lawrence Kurzius, CEO, McCormick & Company Inc [global food ingredient manufacturer]

“Sales to retail outlets have naturally increased, but over a short to medium term it is not going to be enough to offset the loss of sales to pubs” Peter Filipovic, CEO Australia, Carlton & United Breweries Ltd


“There has been an increase in demand for essential and self-sufficiency products. These items include portable gas and fuels, camping stoves, batteries, gas refills, generators, refrigeration equipment, hygiene products, water filters, water-purifying products, portable toilets and solar energy panels” Anthony Heraghty, CEO, Super Retail Group Ltd


“The coronavirus disease is expected to have significant impact on electricity demand that will impact the 2020-21 financial year, as a result of changes to consumption patterns and the potential ongoing impact of economic downturn” The Australian Energy Market Operator

Finance & Lending

“The opportunity for [industry] super funds to play a significant role from a funding perspective and a capital perspective is critically important” Yasser El-Ansary, CEO, Australian Investment Council

“We have been approached by some companies that have faced funding issues – our view at the moment is that there are still a lot of risks in the coming environment and you need to be very selective and discerning with investment” Rob Scott, CEO, Wesfarmers Ltd

“We can’t oversimplify this and say that the banks can just save everybody, we do not have endless resources” Shayne Elliot, CEO, ANZ Bank

Domestic Economy

“What we see is a resetting of values and what’s important to consumers. Individuals won’t rebound for some time because consumers will be too nervous to put their hands in their pockets” Hamish McLennan, Chairman, REA Group Ltd

Global Economy

“The outlook for global growth for 2020 is negative—[signaling] a recession at least as bad as during the global financial crisis or worse” Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

Construction & Infrastructure

“Across our markets, we expect that governments and the private sector will continue to invest to meet sustained demand for critical economic and social infrastructure, notwithstanding the short-term impact of coronavirus” Marcelino Fernández Verdes, Executive Chairman, Cimic Group Ltd

Transport & Logistics

“Demand is significantly down. The biggest originating destination for taxis is the airport” Blair Davies, CEO, Australian Taxi Industry Association

“There have been no signals [from border closures] that anything stops in terms of freight” Kirk Conningham, CEO, Australian Logistics Council


“In just the last week we have witnessed our letter volumes fall over 30 per cent, as our international revenues, and some of the other key services like passports have halved” Christine Holgate, CEO, Australia Post


“In the novated business, while new deals continue to be written, enquiry levels have started to decline since mid-March in line with weaker consumer confidence” Market Announcement, SG Fleet Group Ltd


“So up to now, the China smartphone market recovered to up around 80% to 90% of the January consumption. It's a very good signal” Wang Xiang, President, Xaomi Corporation [Chinese based & top 5 global smartphone maker]

“The [global] demand [will] likely be deferred rather than a loss, based on the experience in China, smartphone demand is resilient and it will rebound quickly” Wang Xiang, President, Xaomi Corporation [Chinese based & top 5 global smartphone maker]


“Enterprises in particular had been burned badly by their experiences with video. Companies made it harder than what it needed to be, the video and audio was choppy, it was really hard to use, and there was always an excuse not to. It was the industry’s fault for not delivering. That excuse is now gone” Michael Chetner, CEO, Zoom Australia Video Communications Inc


View the NAOS CIO Letter to Shareholders COVID-19 Update


Important information: This material has been prepared by NAOS Asset Management Limited (ABN 23 107 624 126, AFSL 273529) (NAOS) for general information purposes only and must not be construed as investment advice. Certain economic, market or company information contained in this material may have been obtained from published sources prepared by third parties. Nothing contained herein should be construed as granting by implication or otherwise, any license or right to use such third party content without the written permission of the owner.


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