Tiger Brands announced today that its current CEO, Noel Doyle, will step down from the role and will be replaced by Tjaart Kruger, who was previously the CEO of Premier Foods.
The company informed shareholders today that, following the board’s annual review of the Tiger Brand’s strategy, it concluded that new leadership was required to respond to the challenges it currently faces.
Doyle will step down as CEO of the company and as executive director and member of the social, ethics and transformation committee.
“During his tenure as CEO, Doyle and his team were required to navigate the challenges of Covid-19, civil unrest, global supply changes and high levels of inflation,” the company said.
“In this period, the company’s underlying operating profit trajectory was stabilised, and there have been many significant improvements in key internal operating metrics.”
“The board thanks Noel for his contribution over 20 years of service with Tiger Brands and wishes him well for the future.”
The company also announced that Kruger has been appointed as CEO and executive director of the company, effective 1 November 2023.
Kruger is a CA (SA) with a PMD from Harvard Business School and has more than 30 years of leadership experience at multiple leading South African FMCG companies.
He has previous experience at Tiger Brands, where he fulfilled the role of managing director of the pharmaceuticals and grains divisions between 2001 and 2007.
Most recently, he served as CEO of Premier Foods between 2011 and 2021. Kruger has signed a 26-month contract with Tiger Brands.
Doyle will remain available to Tiger Brands until 31 March 2024 to facilitate a proper handover.
“The board believes that this appointment will provide certainty to the company, the market and other key stakeholders and accelerate the execution of the company’s strategy and value creation for shareholders,” the company said.
“The board will commence a process to identify a suitable successor for the CEO role in due course to ensure an orderly transition at the end of Kruger’s tenure.”
Tiger Brands also announced that group operating income for the year ended 30 September 2023 will end lower than FY22.
It said the ongoing challenges of fully recovering higher input costs persisted in the second half of this year, resulting in marginally lower volumes.
“This, together with the year-on-year impact of incremental retrenchment costs of approximately R100 million, proved too significant to be offset by the group’s cost reduction initiatives, which will end ahead of the R460 million target previously guided,” the company said.
In addition, good performances from Beverages, Home & Personal Care, Tiger Food Services Solutions (previously Out of Home), Exports and Deciduous Fruit were offset by poor performances in Rice, Bakeries (despite recording volume growth), Groceries and Snacks & Treats.
The latter two businesses were operating in categories marked by absolute volume declines, the company said.
However, despite lower operating income, group earnings were supported by better-than-expected growth in income from associates.
The company advised shareholders of the following expected changes to earnings in the period:
- Earnings per share (EPS) is expected to decline by between -9% and -2%
- Headline earnings per share (HEPS) is expected to differ by between -5% and +2
It explained that the variation of the EPS range, when compared to the range provided for HEPS, is due to the non-recurrence of certain capital profit items accounted for in EPS, which were excluded from HEPS in FY22.
Tiger Brands’ results for the year ended 30 September 2023 are expected to be released on SENS on or about 1 December 2023.