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Retiring Richmond boss got $760,000


Wednesday 27th November 2002

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John Loughlin, the recently retired head of meat company Richmond, walked away with $760,000, the company's annual report shows.

The payment included salary, benefits and retirement allowances. In the previous year Mr Loughlin was paid just under $570,000.

Excluding Mr Loughlin, Richmond had 53 staff making more than $100,000 in the year just ended, compared with 36 in the year before. The company's total wage and salary bill was $138 million in the year to September 2002.

Richmond chairman Sam Robinson said the past financial year was "disappointing", with the company posting a $6.5 million loss for the September year. In the previous year the company made $20.7 million.

Mr Loughlin announced in May that he would retire from the end of October, after more than five years in the role. Mr Robinson said in the annual report that Mr Loughlin's decision was in line with the time frame envisaged when he took up the role in 1997.

During that time the company bought Lowe Walker and Gourmet Direct, merged with Waitotara, and listed on the Stock Exchange.

Graeme Milne was appointed as interim chief executive, until after the legal process to clarify ownership of the company has been completed.

A High Court ruling from Justice Young at the end of last week effectively requires South Island meat cooperative PPCS to make a full takeover bid for Richmond or sell its existing shareholding.

The Dunedin-based farmer cooperative will also forfeit shares after being found to have seriously breached securities legislation. This reduces its relevant interest in Richmond from more than 50 percent to 43 percent.

Richmond suffered $1.3 million in one-off legal costs because of the dispute with PPCS.

On the positive side, Richmond improved cashflow significantly in the past year, with net operating cashflow of $62 million, in sharp contrast to the previous year's $29 million negative cashflow.

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