The restructuring of Elders Limited will have no negative impact on the real estate arm of the business, according to the company’s group general manager.
Speaking to Real Estate Business, David Goodfellow said real estate was one of the company’s core strengths and the changes would allow the group to invest back into that part of the business.
“Elders Real Estate right across Australia will benefit from the changes that we’ve announced last week and that will give us opportunities to grow our presence and our strength in the real estate market over the next few years,” he said.
“It’s really just returning Elders to a business that is highly profitable again and the benefits of that is we’ll continue to retain and attract good people as we move forward.”
Last week, Elders announced plans to cease its struggling forestry and automotive operations and to cut 150 jobs, or 10 per cent of its staff.
“It’s all about simplifying the business as it moves to become a pure agribusiness,” Mr Goodfellow said.
He explained that of the 150 redundancies, many would be from senior to middle management positions in the business.
Ten Elders Real Estate branches based in small country towns would also be closed.
“They’ve been in small towns where we haven’t been able to generate enough revenue to cover our costs and where we can still continue to look after our clients from another town,” Mr Goodfellow said.
Elders’ goal for the future was focusing the brand on its strengths, he added.
“Over the last couple of years, Elders has been involved in things that aren’t core business and it has had an impact on our brand
“Our view is by just focusing on a pure agribusiness company, it will give people confidence that we know what we are doing, [that] we are specialists in our field and able to outcompete other players in our market.
In a statement, Elders Limited managing director Malcolm Jackman said the various aspects of the overall business restructuring plan had provided Elders a sound and sustainable footing with a clear focus for the future.
“I want to extend the board’s deep appreciation to our people for their dedication and hard work and to Elders’ financiers and security-holders for their patience and support during what has been at times a difficult journey.
“Elders is in a good position to complete the re-organisation of its rural services business and to consolidate into a sustainable and profitable agribusiness.”