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Frucor rejigs to cope with growth

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Tuesday 28th November 2000

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Beverage company Frucor (NZSE: FRU) is keen to see that the local market is not lost in the rush for international glory and has formed a new structure to cope with the company's rapid growth.

Under the structure three key appointments have been made with a focus on the New Zealand side of the business, freeing up managing director Mark Cowsill and chief operating officer Malcolm Tubby to concentrate on the increasing international business.

Mr Cowsill says the new appointments add expertise to the existing management team.

"The new structure and management team will ensure our New Zealand operation continues to lead the company's research and development processes, to drive innovation and product development and build on our already strong and successful stable of brands both locally and internationally."

Frucor's New Zealand business will account for around 63% of turnover for the 2001 year and Mr Cowsill says it's vital the company continues to have a strong local focus, especially on research and development, to ensure Frucor continues to lead through innovation.

He says the New Zealand business continues to grow well with very good levels of profitability and strong cash flow.

"The phenomenal success of our energy drink V in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the UK has overshadowed some of our other products which are also exceeding expectations."

"In the juice category we need to keep innovating to prevent juice becoming a commodity and Fresh-Up Vits (Fresh-Up with added vitamins) is a good example of that and Frucor's commitment to the category."

The company has also recently launched a new flavoured, vitamin-enriched water product aimed at the sports market called Mizone.

Frucor shares have been steadily falling in recent months from a high of around $2.40 in September to under $1.90, partly due to a disappointing distribution result for energy drink V in the UK.

However the company has said it is intent on ironing out those problems, and it is also planning to launch the product in two further international markets, although it is yet to announce whether those markets will be elsewhere in Europe or if it will aim for North America. V is currently sold overseas in Australia, South Africa, the UK and Ireland.

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