Newsmaker – William Peter Day

Balcatta-based engine technology developer Orbital Corporation Ltd has appointed the chief financial officer of packaging business Amcor, William Peter Day (above), as its chairman, following the death of former chair Don Bourke earlier this month. The appointment is subject to share-holder approval at an AGM in October. Mr Day will assume the role of chairman and will retire from full-time executive duties with Amcor towards the end of the year. "This will put me in a position to devote an appropriate amount of time and effort to the role," Mr Day told WA Business News. Mr Day has previously held executive and director positions with Bonlac Foods, Rio Tinto, CRA Business Services and Comalco. His appointment was announced last week as Orbital revealed that its net profit after tax had increased to $1.3 million for the year to June 2007, up from $0.5 million in the previous year. Orbital increased revenue by 32 per cent to $15.2 million, with a rise in engineering services income to $12.5 million offsetting a reduction in royalty and licence income. The main operational development during the year was the commencement by Indian company, Bajaj, of auto-rickshaw production using Orbital’s direct injection technology. The result included the $0.6 million cost of settling a dispute with Coles Group Ltd over a research and development syndicate. Orbital’s chief executive officer, Rod Houston, said the company was in a strong financial position to pursue growth opportunities.

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