Australian dairy company National Foods has said that its managing director of seven years, Max Ould, is to retire after the next board meeting on 24 July.

Ould, who led the group through a period of industry restructuring, is to be succeeded by chief operating officer Peter Margin. Margin joined National Foods in 1997 and was appointed COO in 2002.

National Foods, which supplies around 40% of Australia's drinking milk, is currently focusing on building its dairy foods business, reported Reuters.

The company recorded a net profit of A$28.6m (US$19.1m) for the six months to 31 December 2002, compared to $25.1m a year earlier.