Airport security eyes Max the Axe
Meet corporate Australia's very own Man of Steel, Max "The Axe" Moore-Wilton.
While he left some in the public service feeling knee-capped back when he worked for John Howard, it turns out Moore-Wilton has issues with his own knees.
In addition to presiding over the home of "Vile" Kyle Sandilands, Southern Cross Austereo, Moore-Wilton is chairman of Sydney Airport, which held its annual meeting on Thursday.
A shareholder who has metal knees asked about the problems he had passing through security, especially from the "young Turks" who "like to make it very difficult for us".
Responding, Moore-Wilton declared he had "a certain degree of a vested interest" because he has two metal knees of his own.
"And I can assure you that I don't receive any favoured treatment at Sydney Airport or anywhere else," he said.
But he emphasised that the security contractors carried out "their task professionally".
"It's not the easiest job in the world," he said.
Disappointingly, the Axe's metal knees turn out not to be part of a program of surgery designed to turn him into a Terminator-esque cybernetic killing machine - even if that would be a great way to deal with annoying shareholders.
Swisse in delay
The financial accounts of Nicole Kidman-endorsed vitamin company Swisse Wellness are more than six months late, theoretically exposing its directors to time in the big house.
While there's little chance to "celebrate life every day" serving the maximum six months' jail the offence attracts, don't hold your breath waiting for the corporate regulator to take action against chief executive Radek Sali and fellow directors Michael Saba and Stephen Ring.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is slow to prosecute directors who are late filing accounts, and when it does it generally drops the cases once miscreants cough up the missing documents.
Sali told CBD the accounts were late but said they had just been audited and he hoped to file them "in the next month or so".
He blamed the delay on factors including the company's push into the US, spearheaded by appearances on Ellen DeGeneres' TV show. "We've got a new CFO who's basically relooked at everything and [is] structuring things up so we're ready for a potential IPO in the future," he said. He wouldn't give a profit figure for the year to the end of June 2012, which the missing accounts will cover, but said Swisse had "done well".
Sali said marketing spending tracked revenue, which he said would be more than $180 million - more than double the 2011 figure of $77.1 million. According to the back of CBD's envelope, that means the $26.2 million spent on marketing in 2011 will have swelled to more than $60 million.
"The margins are still going well for us - revenue has really been our focus. We're in a growth phase and we need to make sure we do all we can to maintain that growth," Sali said.
Sali clearly believes in the company's future. In August last year, he took out a loan with HSBC to increase his stake in Swisse from 10 per cent to 15 per cent.
He said an IPO was still two or three years away, but in the meantime JPMorgan has been shopping Swisse around looking to sell a minority stake.
Sali was keen to talk up Swisse as a "unique organisation" with staff who believe in making people healthier and happier.
But he was less keen to discuss the defamation lawsuit launched against the ABC by his dad, Avni Sali, over an item about Swisse products on consumer TV show The Checkout.
"The Checkout lawsuit's nothing to do with us, Swisse, as an organisation. It's my father, who's a researcher and the head of a not-for-profit, that's chosen to take action."
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