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Retirement Of John Lumsden From Metservice

23-May-2006

Retirement Of John Lumsden From Chief Executive Of Metservice

MetService Chairman, Dr Francis Small, announced today that the Board had received with much regret notice of the impending retirement of Chief Executive John Lumsden as from November this year.

"John has enthusiastically run MetService from its beginnings as a State Owned Enterprise fourteen years ago to the successful enterprise that it is today" said Dr. Small. "The Board acknowledges and commends John for his strong leadership which has developed the company's culture of innovation and resulted in its strong professional and financial performance. As a result MetService enjoys an international reputation for the provision of meteorological services. Not only does MetService provide a world class weather service for New Zealand, but has also successfully competed on the international stage for contracts such as the BBC's weather graphics".

The Minister of State Owned Enterprises, the Hon. Trevor Mallard, in acknowledging John Lumsden's retirement said that MetService is one of the strongest performing SOEs and is seen as a leading commercial national weather service within the World Meteorological Organization.

John Lumsden said that he was pleased with what the company had been able to achieve, and with its reputation both in NZ and internationally. "Fourteen years ago we never would have imagined that MetService weather services would have been used so far and wide, by electricity generators in Europe, and television broadcasters in Australia, the Middle East, and Europe, for example. At home we are producing more accurate weather forecasts and warnings for the public in New Zealand, and overall are turning a nice profit for the taxpayers."

It is expected that a successor will be appointed before the end of the year. Asked what he would do after he steps down John said that he was already Vice President of the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce and he was looking forward to helping other enterprises grow. He also expects to maintain some involvement with the WMO.

MetService is based in Wellington, has 193 employees, and in the last financial year reported a tax paid profit of $4.1million, on sales of $30.9 million. This record result was boosted by the sales of its weather graphics software Weatherscape XT to the BBC. Its weather forecast services are well known in New Zealand, being available in all the media as well as at www.metservice.com which is by far the country's most popular internet weather page. Less well known is the company's television programme and sharemarket information service which is produced for newspapers under the Metra brand.

ENDS


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