Business Leaders of the year: John Bongard

CEO Fisher & Paykel Appliances

Under John Bongard's leadership, Fisher & Paykel Appliances this year posted record half-year sales for the whiteware maker.

He settled market nerves by confirming the company would hit its full-year forecast, despite battling the high kiwi dollar, high raw material prices and high interest rates.

In the six months ending September revenue grew 22 per cent to a record $696.7 million.

However, restructuring costs of $3.1 million (after buying Italian stove maker Elba in June for $158 million) and interest of $10 million helped drop net profit by 2.3 per cent to $25.6 million.

His European purchase continues a push to expand overseas and reduce the firm's reliance on Australasia.

Appliance sales in the US now account for about 35 per cent of total revenue, and Europe is up to about about 7 per cent.

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