Coca-Cola Amatil boss Terry Davis has cloaked himself in the robes of protectionism, after applying for temporary tariff protection for his struggling packaged fruits business SPC Ardmona, which is suffering from intense import competition and alleged dumping by foreign competitors.
SPC has been whacked by a decline in volume and earnings of late as the high Australian dollar continues to hamstring its competitiveness in the supermarket channel, forcing Coca-Cola Amatil to shred goodwill linked with its $685 million acquisition of the business in 2005. For the first half of 2012-13 a 10 per cent drop in pre-tax earnings to $44.8 million for its food and alcohol division was driven by the profit deterioration at SPC.
Unveiling group results yesterday, Mr Davis lay much of the blame on cheap imported fruit that he claims was being dumped in Australia. And now Coca-Cola Amatil has decided to act.
Mr Davis said the company had applied for temporary tariff protection and lodged an anti-dumping application with the Australian government.
The company is also seeking a government grant to support its restructure of SPC, costs and development of a future product innovation platform.