Bega Cheese has announced its CEO, Aidan Coleman, will retire in January 2017, after five years in the role.

The announcement of Mr Coleman’s retirement comes as the company’s results for the 2016 financial year show continued growth with positive prospects for coming years.

“Aidan has done a wonderful job as CEO of Bega Cheese over the past five years,” said Bega Cheese’s executive chairman, Barry Irvin.

“His focus on business and people development has been a great asset to the company, I think everybody who knows and works with Aidan respects both his leadership skills and personal qualities.”

Mr Coleman said he was very pleased with the business performance in a challenging year.

“I am delighted with the performance of the team. We achieved growth in our nutritionals platform and our international food service and consumer goods platform. Bega Cheese continued to invest in our business and our people while remaining focused on growth and financial performance during challenging market circumstances”.

Bega Cheese revenue up 7.5 per cent to $1.2 billion

Bega Cheese revenue grew 7.5 per cent to $1.2 billion, increased EBITDA to $65.4 million and increased profit after tax by 132 per cent to $28.8 million (normalised increased 33 per cent to $29.2 million).

Significant increases in global dairy production, a softening in demand in China, sanctions in Russia and a highly competitive Australian market created a very challenging operating environment for dairy companies and dairy farmers.

Bega Cheese produced 238,000 tonnes of dairy products in FY2016, a 6 per cent increase on the previous year. The company continues to focus on its four business platforms of dairy ingredients, food service and consumer packaged goods, nutritionals and bionutrients.

Bega Cheese’s values and strategy have been very evident in FY2016 with the company maintaining its farm gate milk price, continuing its support and commitment to community organisation’s in the regions it operates in, recording a significant improvement in safety with a record low LTIFR of 4 and announcing an increase in full year dividend to shareholders to 9.5cps (4.5cps interim and 5.0cps final).

Mr Irvin said: “Bega Cheese’s strategy of consistent and controlled investment in infrastructure and capacity is demonstrated in the stability of our business and our ability to respond to volatile market circumstances. It is a reflection of both our values and strategy that the company maintained its commitments to our dairy farmers while achieving strong revenue and profit growth”.

“We expect continued revenue growth and improved financial performance in FY2017. Bega Cheese continues to maintain a strong balance sheet and the company is well positioned to grow its business both organically and through acquisition,” Mr Irvin said.

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