26/08/2003 - 22:00

Wild Child global push

26/08/2003 - 22:00

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PERTH-BASED natural health care products manufacturer Wild Child is set to expand into global markets with a new international contracts and an expanded product line.

Wild Child global push

PERTH-BASED natural health care products manufacturer Wild Child is set to expand into global markets with a new international contracts and an expanded product line.

In mid 2002, Poynton and Partners chairman John Poynton was brought in as a shareholder to help grow the company and Jonathan Fisher, who is also a Poynton and Partners associate, was appointed as a director of Wild Child.

Wild Child founder and managing director Leanne Preston said that both Mr Poynton and Mr Fisher’s financial and legal skills would contribute to growing the company and expanding exports.

“Specifically, Jonathan provides in-house strategic capabilities to Wild Child to manage its expansion into international markets and advanced financial and corporate governance skills that are expected of the public capital markets,” she said.

Ms Preston said growth in the company was continuing after securing contracts with Woolworths two years ago and, more recently, a national contract with Coles. Wild Child has been available through Coles stores in WA for the past five years.

Ms Preston said Wild Child had recently secured two contracts with the largest retail outlets in the UK and hoped to export the first shipment there in November.

She said one of the UK contracts was an exclusive contract and would include national television advertising in the UK.

“We’re certainly on a fast growing curve,” Ms Preston said.

“We want to build a global business and I think we have the people and the infrastructure to do that.

“We’ve grown 100 per cent on the previous financial year and we expect at least to double that in the next year as well – especially with our UK contracts and the contract with Coles.

“We have another seven new lines, including all natural sunscreens and a new head lice product and styling mud which we are about to launch.

“We now have more time and resources to grow the export market.”

Ms Preston said the company was also in the midst of a national marketing push, including an advertorial segment on Channel Ten’s Good Morning Australia that would hopefully drive domestic sales.

Wild Child was founded by Ms Preston in 1997 in Margaret River.

The company’s first product, Quik Nits, was a toxin and chemical-free alternative head lice treatment.

Today, Wild Child has more than 20 product lines, including baby care and sunscreens that have been developed with pharmaceutical chemist and company director John Found.

Ms Preston said Wild Child products were available in more than 5,000 pharmacies across Australia and selected supermarket chains.

Exports markets include Europe, New Zealand, Malaysia and Hong Kong with forays in to new markets in the US and Japan planned.

Ms Preston said the company was in the process of submitting an application for the Federal Government’s Biotechnology Innovation Fund (BiF) seeking funds to develop new, natural products.

“What’s exciting is the respect we’ve gained in the industry,” she said.

“The pharmaceutical industry is the second highest regulated industry in Australia after aviation.

“The interest around Wild Child is the ethical push and natural products and people want to get behind it.”

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