A YEAR of indecision and in-fighting resulted in Australian Wool Innovation spending only $3.75 million on global marketing for 2009-10.
According to AWI's annual report, its marketing expenditure was down nearly $2 million on the previous year.
Delays to the implementation of programs coincided with board room disagreements on marketing strategies, which also resulted in resignations of its chief executive Brenda McGahan in February and AWI director Laurence Modiano in May. The board also abolished its marketing committee in April.
But the reduced marketing expenditure helped AWI record a surplus of $17.6 million for the year, turning around the previous year's deficit of $17.4 million. Total revenue revenue was $61.8 million which included wool levies of $35.3 million, a federal government research contribution of $10.5 million and Woolmark licence revenue of $10.6 million.
AWI finished the year with net assets of $74.3 million, including $66.7 million in cash and investments. The net assets were up nearly $10 million on the previous financial year.
But despite the last year's dip in marketing expenditure, chief executive Stuart McCullough was confident that all was on track for the 2010-11 global marketing expenditure of $12 million.
Addressing a Senate Estimates hearing in Canberra last week, Mr McCullough assured senators that AWI "fiscally was in very good shape".
"Licensee sales are up 100 on this time last" he said.
Mr McCullough said AWI had continued to make some redundancies in the northern hemisphere.
"We have taken out the second layer of the company, which is the regional manager's roles," he said.
Mr McCullough said AWI now had a staff of 129, of which 43 were based in Australia.
He said AWI's priorities were its three northern hemisphere marketing programs, including the Prince Charles' Campaign for Wool, the China Woolmark Gold program, which was currently being aired on television and the "No Finer Feeling" campaign which will run in partnership with retailers and brands.