NAOS CEO Insights



August 30, 2019

CEO INSIGHTS – Week Ending 30 August 2019 By NAOS Asset Management

"We believe 'buy now, pay later' is a huge market, which grew 250% last year to $5.9bn in Australia alone. It won't grow that much in 2020, but we believe it will still grow by half as younger consumers switch from credit cards. It's just the beginning." Rebecca James, CEO, Flexigroup Ltd

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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Finance, Lending & Payments

"The reality for most non-banks is we're not really doing anything different today to what we were doing five or 10 years ago, it's [the demand growth] been driven by a desire by consumers to move away from establishment or traditional brands." Scott McWilliam, CEO, Resimac Group Ltd

“There's no doubt credit availability still is pretty tough. It's still tough to get deals done. That's the brutal reality of the market at the moment." John McConnell, CEO, Automotive Holdings Group


“It was positive to see net supply growth in the half being lower than the prior corresponding period, notwithstanding an increase in Q2 driven by a lower number of closures.” Gary Carroll, CEO, G8 Education Ltd

Poultry & Dairy

“Poultry continues to be the animal protein of choice as beef, lamb and pork prices rise and are projected to do so well in the future." Jim Leighton, CEO, Inghams Group Ltd

"The year just passed represents possibly the most difficult year for the dairy industry since deregulation with the last quarter the worst. The drought, along with high water, feed and power costs, have all had an impact." Max Roberts, Chairman, Bega Cheese Ltd

Domestic Retail

“Interest rates dropping should help, the tax refunds should help, but we just need some stimulus in the market. You can see it right across the board, it is tough out there, it isn’t easy." Scott Evans, CEO, Noni B Ltd

"While the [supermarket] market remained highly competitive, there was a continued improvement in the sales trajectory through the first quarter of FY20." ASX Announcement, Metcash Ltd

"The bulk of the homewares market purchases their product in US Dollars. All retailers in this space are going to be facing similar challenges, so I expect we will see some price increases across the board in the next 6-12 months." Mark Ronan, CEO, Adairs Ltd

“I wouldn't necessarily say the consumer environment is negative. While there might be some challenges out there, the consumer market isn't too bad and we are able to generate growth." Rob Scott, CEO, Wesfarmers

Domestic Property

“Notwithstanding market conditions, we have seen improved buyer sentiment in recent months. This sounded the bell for property market stabilisation, along with APRA’s easing loan serviceability criteria and subsequent interest rate drops all contributing to the bottoming of the residential sector.” Geoff Lucas, CEO, McGrath Ltd

"The past year has seen a challenging market nationally but we anticipate gradual improvement over 2020." Nathan Blackburne, CEO, Cedar Woods Property Ltd

Construction and Building Materials

“In FY2020, we expect downward earnings pressure in Boral Australia as the slowdown in residential construction continues to impact and won’t be fully offset by growing volumes in infrastructure projects." Mike Kane, CEO, Boral Ltd

"Our view is that the turning point is at least 12 to 18 months away in this sector [residential construction]." Nick Miller, CEO, Adelaide Brighton Ltd

Data Centres

“The increase in power prices has really focused the minds of CFOs on just how inefficient that [internal] computer room is. It’s a bit like having your computer room heating on all year round. You didn’t really think about it until power prices rose." David Tudehope, CEO, Macquarie Telecom

Chinese Consumer

"During FY19 China demand [for infant formula] was impacted by regulatory change, a lower birth rate and increased competition." ASX Market Announcement, Bellamy's Australia Ltd


“We are seeing a change in the competitive dynamic through the course of this year which has had a negative impact on retail fuel margins.” Scott Wyatt, CEO, Viva Energy Ltd


"The current outlook across this basket of minerals is mixed. Whereas the gold price is at historical highs, forecast prices for other commodities is less clear." ASX Announcement Lycopodium

"Market pulp prices have dropped significantly over the last few months, largely due to Brazilian pulp mills over producing and carrying high inventories. These mills have announced that measures have now been put in place to curtail production." ASX Announcement, Midway Ltd




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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