Pacific Brands announces financial year loss, Morphet’s departure

Pacific Brands has announced a $450.7 million loss for the financial year, but its incoming CEO says there’s potential for the company, and manufacturing in general, to do well.

Pacific, the maker of iconic brands like Bonds and Sheridan, said in a statement that, “Year-to-date underlying sales performance has been mixed with underwear up, workwear down, HFO down and the overall group marginally down.”

It conceded that the environment would remain a tough one to do business in for the coming year. “Earnings outcomes will be largely dependent upon market conditions and associated sales performance, and may be impacted by ongoing restructuring and rationalisation.”   

CEO Sue Morphet will leave after five years at the clothing maker, and will be remembered for her controversial decision in 2009 to move operations offshore.

Morphet is replaced by John Pollaers, the former chief at brewer Fosters, who told the Herald Sun that the company had strong products but some brands may be shed.

"There are some clear standout brands there, so it's not hard to see where the majority of focus should be," said Pollaers.

"But there are also some really lovely other brands that we'll have to look at and decide whether we can grow them or do we rationalise."

Pollaers told The Australian Financial Review that Australia’s manufacturing industry could do well with a little innovation.

“Australia has every potential in transforming itself… to a high-value-add manufacturing economy,” he said.

“Not all of them have to be fashioning sheet metal.”

The incoming chief has previously canvassed ideas including tax regime changes to encourage high-value manufacturing.


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