(Yicai Global) Feb. 27 -- Sichuan Swellfun said its vice president and the leading Chinese liquor maker's general manager Zhu Zhenhao has resigned from all his posts in the firm for health reasons, adding that the China managing director of its parent company, Diageo, will act temporarily as GM.
Mark Anthony Edwards will serve as acting GM from March 1 while Swellfun finds a person to take up the position full time, the Chengdu-based firm announced on Feb. 24. Edwards is expected to remain for about six months and keep the company's operations and strategy steady, it added.
Edwards has been in China for over two decades and previously worked in the British consumer goods giant Unilever and London-based Diageo as marketing manager, marketing director, and GM, Swellfun noted.
In recent years, the GM position at Swellfun has had several changes, with Wei Yongbiao resigning just a year after his September 2020 appointment, citing personal reasons, and Wei's successor, Zhu, lasting less than three years. The frequent changes are likely as result of the worse-than-expected performance of its baijiu liquor brand.
Shares of Swellfun [SHA: 600779] closed down 1 percent at CNY82.89 (USD1.90) each today, after dropping by as much as 3.9 percent during the morning trading session. The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.3 percent.
Swellfun expects net profit to have risen only about 1.4 percent to CNY16.8 million (USD2.4 million) last year from 2021, it said last month. Revenue likely rose 0.9 percent to around CNY40.9 million, and sales by volume dipped 2.3 percent to 257 kiloliters, the firm said.
The weak financial performance was related to China's severe Covid-19 outbreaks in the fourth quarter, with a drop in consumer demand for baijiu, China's favorite tipple, causing an increase in inventory-related pressure in sales channels, Swellfun pointed out.
In the nine months ended Sept. 31, net profit jumped 5.5 percent, and revenue surged 10.2 percent from the year before, its previous earnings report showed.
Editors: Shi Yi, Martin Kadiev