Australian food manufacturer Goodman Fielder has decided to combine its three businesses in New Zealand.

The company said the “integration” of its baking, dairy and home ingredients units in New Zealand would “improve interaction” with its customers and lower costs.

“We are one of the biggest suppliers to the retail grocery trade in New Zealand and yet we have been operating as three semi-independent companies,” CEO Chris Delaney said on Monday (17 October).

“This makes it hard for our customers and suppliers to do business with us, and it also means that we have not been able to use our scale to drive efficiencies. This new integrated structure will allow us to bring the considerable capabilities of Goodman Fielder to the marketplace and to service our consumers and customers more effectively.”

Peter Reidie, MD of Goodman Fielder’s dairy and meats operations in New Zealand, has been named MD of the company’s entire business in the country.

Last month, Goodman Fielder announced plans to raise A$259m (US$267.8m) to strengthen its balance sheet. In August, the company reported a 17% fall in annual underlying profits after raw-material costs and lower sales hit earnings.