Plan to rectify “disappointing” performance

An aerial view of the US$70 million Intermalt facility in Cai Mep, Vietnam.
Camera IconAn aerial view of the US$70 million Intermalt facility in Cai Mep, Vietnam. Credit: Interflour Group

A “turnaround plan” is in action at CBH’s part-owned Asian miller Interflour to rectify its financial performance, CBH chief executive Jimmy Wilson has revealed.

Speaking to Countryman on Monday during a round of media interviews focused on CBH’s annual report, Mr Wilson said Interflour’s new chief executive Avi Fintz would lead the plan.

Mr Wilson said the company, a joint venture involving Indonesian billionaire Antoni Salim which was intended to add value to CBH, had reported a $10.2 million loss.

Mr Wilson said Interflour faced headwinds on a number of fronts, including challenging trading conditions stemming from a highly competitive flour milling industry in Asia, and adverse currency movements.

Recently commissioned processing facilities in the Philippines and Intermalt in Vietnam had not ramped up as expected to generate anticipated profits.

He asked CBH chief financial officer Doug Warden, who was employed at CBH in October, to speak to the media about changes at Interflour.

“The turnaround plan was put in place several months ago,” Mr Warden said.

“It is not about rocket science, it is about utilisation of plants, getting costs out of the business, and placing the additional tonnes ... into the market in a sensible and disciplined manner to get the best possible prices.”

Mr Warden said there had been “some improvements” in recent months.

“We are not singing from the rooftops saying it has been achieved, but there are some promising signs,” he said.

CBH bought a 50 per cent stake in Asian miller Interflour with the aim of cashing in on Indonesia’s burgeoning wheat consumption, which has more than doubled in the past 15 years.

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