Nicolin Hands Over Ansell in Good Shape

When Marcus Nicolin was named CEO of Ansell back in February 2010, the company’s shares were trading around $10.20.

Yesterday, when the timing of his retirement was finally announced after a year’s delay, the shares were around $40 – a quadrupling in 11 years which isn’t a bad outcome for a company that was once known as a condom maker and nothing much else.

But now in these times of Covid and the pandemic, has all the up-to-date buzz as a healthcare and PPE specialist.

Ansell went from the maker of condoms and other small protective products to a global force in gloves and other protective gear in the time of Covid – which has changed the shape of the business in which it operates forever.

Ansell in fact rode through the pandemic very profitably under CEO Magnus Nicolin who delayed his retirement to give the company continuity through the lockdowns and other disruptions.

Nicolin announced the delay in the middle of 2020, saying he would remain at the helm for a further six months.

As it was he will have stayed on a year when his replacement, the company’s head of its industrial global business unit Neil Salmon takes over on September 1.

Salmon is currently based in Belgium, and was the former chief financial officer of Ansell for six years before taking his current role overseeing the industrials division. He will take up the CEO’s role in new Jersey

His appointment is unlike that of Mr Nicolin who was headhunted for the CEO’s role externally – from US group, Rubbermaid.

Ansell chair John Bevan said in Tuesday’s statement that Mr Salmon was the right person for the job, having been a key contributor to business strategy over the past eight years and having been key in steering Ansell through the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Mr Salmon would enter the role with a base salary of €715,000 ($A1.12 million), with short term performance incentives at a maximum of 150% of the base remuneration, payable in cash or shares at the board’s discretion.

Long term incentives will be 140% of base salary, up to a maximum of 280%, payable in performance rights.

Ansell shares closed at $39.96 (down 0.7% on the day), though they have outperformed the wider ASX 200 in 2021 so far with a 15% rise. The shares hit an all-time high of $43.17 in late April.

The decision to stay on and give the company continuity under Nicolin saw the shares more than double from the most recent low on March 15, 2020 of $21.90. That was towards the end of the great Covid sell down.

2020-21 will be the last full year for Ansell to report and the company has already upgraded its revenue and earnings outlook to where it is looking at a 60% jump in earnings per share for the year to June 30 from 2019-20’s $US158.7 million net profit.



About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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