Strategic Overview

Previous12
Steve Good

How will we improve our performance and build a stronger platform for growth?

Steve Good
Group Chief Executive

Q:
What have you been focusing on since taking on the Chief Executive’s role?

A:
We already have a sound strategy for the Technical Textiles market. It’s enabled the business to deliver a resilient performance through extremely challenging economic times so I haven’t seen the need for a fundamental strategy overhaul.

I’ve brought together a new senior team with a flatter structure, clear targets and supported by a head office that is strongly focused on and connected with the operating businesses. The team has been responsible for delivering resilient performance this year and the excellent progress on reducing net debt.

Personally, I have spent time with a wide cross section of employees from different functions and businesses discussing the acceleration of our organic growth and with external stakeholders, to understand their perceptions of the Group.

Q:
What are your immediate priorities going forward?

A:
My top priority is to drive progress towards our medium-term targets. I have put in place a number of initiatives to achieve this. These include accelerating our organic sales growth through product and service innovations and geographic expansion into Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

We also intend to improve our operating margins and asset efficiency by fixing our underperforming Yarns business and resuming capital investment in short payback projects. We significantly reduced costs during the downturn and it’s important that we retain those benefits. Further structural reductions in working capital in our Technical Coated Fabrics and Yarns businesses are also planned.

A key financial priority is to maintain our financial stability by operating within a net debt to EBITDA target ratio of 1.5 – 2.0x.

Q:
What do you see as the key factors driving Low & Bonar’s growth through 2010?

A:
The rate and timing of a sustained economic recovery remains difficult to predict. Our balance of early and late cycle activities means we are well positioned for the return to growth. However, for 2010 we will rely on our key internal initiatives to make progress towards our targets and I am confident that we can achieve this.

Previous12