Cutting back at Blackmores

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Complementary giant set to cut Australian jobs as its focus shifts to Asian markets and new digital opportunities

Complementary medicine giant Blackmores is to cut about 10 per cent of its workforce in Australia and New Zealand as it responds to “unprecedented disruption due to COVID-19”. 

In it’s annual shareholder report, released on 25 August, the company reported full year revenue for 2019/20 of $568m, down 3% on the prior financial year.

There was also a 66 per cent reduction in reported net profit for 2019-20 to $18.1 million. Profit before tax was down 67% to S23.47m.

However, Blackmores reported “very good results in our International markets with revenue up 30% on
the prior year, BioCeuticals revenue up 7%, while Blackmores strengthened its leadership position in
Australia with 16.4% share of the vitamin and dietary supplement (VDS) market.”

“This is despite the unprecedented disruption due to COVID-19 and highlights the strength of our brands in meeting consumer health needs,” said Blackmores CEO Alastair Symington.

As part of its response, the company has announced an “organisational redesign”.

“This will enable us to reinvest into high growth markets across Asia and strengthen capabilities to deliver on our strategy”.

As part of this strategy the company expects a reduction of approximately 10% of its workforce, “partly offset by investment in roles in Asia and strategic priorities across the Group”.

Employees in Blackmores’ Australia and New Zealand operations commenced a consultation process last week, which will be completed in September, its statement outlined.

The Blackmores Directors resolved on 24 August 2020 to not pay a final dividend in respect of the period ending 30 June 2020.

“While our cash position and balance sheet is strong, the continued uncertainty in the current global
climate underpins this decision,” Mr Symington said.

The key strategies revelaed in the company’s letter to shareholders included rejuvenating their Australian business – including an “exciting new digital shopping experience that delivers tailored vitamin solutions straight to your door. Blackmores (Bmore) packs are curated based on personal health needs”, and set to launch in the second half of 2021.

It also highlighted the possibility of growth in India, Indonesia and especially China, where a new Innovation Centre in Shanghai will “integrate local market insights”.

“In September, we will bring to market a new premium line of products specifically designed for our modern parenting consumer growth platform to meet consumer needs in China,” Mr Symington said. 


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