World

Friday 25 July 2014

Irishwoman still putting the fizz into franchising

Published 06/12/2012|05:00

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While Qantas boss Alan Joyce may be having a tough time at the airline lately, another Dubliner who made their way to Oz back in the eighties is adding some fizz to the business landscape.

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Nessa O'Sullivan, who worked with PwC in Dublin before moving to Australia with the firm.

She has since blazed a trail and now at 47 is the chief financial officer of Coca-Cola Amatil, the Sydney firm that holds the franchise for the drink in Australia and other countries including New Zealand and Indonesia.

It employs over 16,000 people and made an A$592m (€474m) net profit last year on trading revenue of $4.8bn (€3.8bn) – both figures up considerably on the previous year.

In an interview this week in Australia, O'Sullivan says that when she was chief financial officer at Yum! Brands (which owns franchises such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) in Australia, she was told by her boss that it was likely as far as she would go.

But she was headhunted by Coca-Cola Amatil in 2005 and has delivered impressive results through cautious stewardship of the group's finances. She says she's open to the CEO role if it becomes vacant, but it seems she still likes fixing businesses.

"If I found the combination of where I could add value and grow a business, sure why not?" she tells the Australian Financial Review. She should ask Alan Joyce if he's sick of Qantas yet.

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