Open Country Dairy seeks new boss

Last updated 13:39 09/07/2012

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Open Country Dairy is on the hunt for a new chief executive with the departure of Steven Smith.

Chairman Laurie Margrain, who will be executive chairman until a successor is appointed, said Smith had resigned after two years in the job to pursue opportunities in South East Asia.

Margrain said the company expected to make the appointment soon.

Open Country is New Zealand's second biggest dairy processor after Fonterra.  

Controlled by the Talley family, the company earlier this year in its annual report noted a loss of $29.5 million for the year to July 31, triple that of the previous year. The widened loss was attributed to the soaring price of raw milk in the 2011 year and a strong Kiwi dollar. Sales rose to $679m from $497.3m.

The Auckland-based company has processing plants in the North and South Islands.  

It completed an upgrade to its Waharaoa, Waikato plant prior to the start of this dairy season, which would provide it with greater capacity to produce skim milk and pricing shifts, the annual report said.

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