Dairy processor Murray Goulburn managing director Gary Helou is stepping down following the co-operative’s decision to cut both its profit forecast and the price it pays farmers for milk.
The co-operative said in a statement that it now estimates a net profit after tax of between $39 million and $42 million. Originally, in its prospectus, Murray Goulburn had forecast a profit of $89 million. Then in February it lowered that figure to $63 million.
It will now borrow as much as $165 million to maintain milk prices paid to suppliers.
MG’s performance has been affected by a jump in the Australian dollar as well as China’s decision to cut spending on bulk dairy products and Russian trade sanctions on western produce.
MG chairman Philip Tracy said history would judge Helou as a “visionary leader”.
“Gary has made a significant contribution to MG and has been a powerful driving force behind our transition to become a globally recognised, ASX-listed food business. We thank Gary for his passion, drive and leadership during what has been an important transformation period for MG,” he said.
Helou will step down as managing director but remain to assist with the transition to an interim Chief Executive Officer while a search for a successor is undertaken. He will also cease to be a director of MG Responsible Entity Limited, the responsible entity of the MG Unit Trust.