New Marie Brizard CEO hired as Q2 sales slide
Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits (MBWS) has reported a net sales decline of 11.4% in the second quarter of 2018, at the same time as appointing a new chief executive officer.
Net sales for the period fell to €107.9m (US$126.3m), due to the performance of the company’s ‘branded business’ which “declined significantly” by -25.2%. MBWS said that this “was partially expected” and will affect the profitability of the first half of 2018.
This performance was attributed to a “proactive strategy” which saw the firm reduce stock levels. This was also affected by a “much lower level of activity” in France in June.
In Western Europe, Middle East and Africa (WEMEA), the majority of the region’s decrease was attributed to Spain as a result of destocking and a price increase on MBWS’s flagship anisette brand. The firm’s activity “stabilised” in the UK.
The Polish market also decreased by -62.8%, while the Americas cluster fell by -29.1%. Net sales in Asia Pacific dropped by -4.7%.
For the second half of 2018, the company “confirms its expectation of a gradual return to growth across all clusters, but this is not expected to offset the top-line decrease in H1 2018.”
MBWS has hired Andrew Highcock as its new chief executive officer, taking over from Benoît Hérault. He is expected to join the firm on 29 October 2018.
Highcock has previously held several positions at Diageo, including marketing director for central Europe, general manager of the Hungarian subsidiary and marketing director of Diageo in France.
He was previously at Maxxium, where he became president of the firm’s Canadian business. His most recent role was at SABMiller Group as president of the Polish subsidiary.
MBWS has also appointed Jacques Tierny as independent non-executive director. He has also been named president of the audit committee.