Synlait seeks to slash jobs to save $10-15m

Synlait Milk said it had started a process with staff to reduce the company’s headcount by about 15 per cent to achieve savings of $10 to $12 million.

Chief executive John Penno said Synlait, whose previous chief executive Leon Clement left in April, had been through a lot of change over the last 12 months.

“This means some areas are now over-resourced, and some areas are under-resourced,” he said.

“We need to review and reset the structure of our business to match our current goals to be successful,” he said.

Penno said the company was “on a journey” to transform its culture.

“We need to build teams that are working together with clear roles and responsibilities, and the systems needed to chase the growth we are looking to achieve,” he said in a statement.

“This is not just a cost out exercise, it is a complete reset of how we operate as a business,” he said.

Synlait is discussing the proposed changes with impacted team members and union representatives.

The consultation process will take place over the next two weeks. A further update will be provided along with Synlait’s full-year 2021 results on September 27.

Synlait is closely allied with dairy and infant formula company a2 Milk, which has a 20 per cent stake in the company.

A2 Milk, whose growth has been stifled by the outbreak of Covid 19 and increased competition in its key market – China – is Synlait’s biggest customer for infant formula.

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