Staff shake up at Pernod as half year profits rise 25%

Chivas Brothers boss Laurent Lacassagne is to leave Pernod Ricard after 30 years in July, with the French drinks group announcing a number of executive changes as it confirms a net profit rise of 25% in its half year results.

Chivas Brothers boss Laurent Lacassagne is leaving Pernod Ricard after 30 years

Lacassagne has worked at Pernod Ricard for the past 30 years having joined in 1988. He became group CFO in 1997, and later chairman and CEO of the Orlando Wyndham Group in Australia. In 2006, he was appointed chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Pacific, and in 2008 chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Europe before taking on his final post as chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers Ltd, the group’s Scotch whisky and gin business, in 2013.

“The Group wishes Laurent every success in his future projects and thanks him for his significant contribution to the development of the Group over the past thirty years,” said Pernod in a statement.

Christian Porta, currently chairman and chief executive officer of Pernod Ricard EMEA & LATAM, has been promoted to the newly created position of managing director, global business development (GBD) and will report to Alexandre Ricard.

In this role, Porta will be responsible for coordinating strategies and initiatives related to the group’s brand portfolio, including innovation and digital, and reinforcing the expertise of its sales and marketing teams to become a truly “consumer-centric” organisation.

Elsewhere, Gilles Bogaert, currently managing director in charge of finance, IT and operations, becomes chairman and chief executive officer of Pernod Ricard EMEA & LATAM. Hélène de Tissot, currently group strategy and M&A director, becomes group finance, IT and operations director, while Conor McQuaid, currently EVP global business development, becomes chairman and chief executive officer of Irish Distillers.

Lastly, Philippe Coutin, currently chief executive officer of Pernod Ricard Rouss and Pernod Ricard Eastern Europe, will become chairman and chief executive officer of the Ricard and Pernod Companies as of May 2019. He replaces Philippe Savinel, who is set to retire.

The raft of changes within its executive board comes with Pernod’s announcement of its half year results, which saw the French drinks producer report sales for H1 FY18 of €5.1 billion, with organic growth of +5.1% and reported growth of +0.4%. Net profits increased by 25% to €1.1 billion, with the group now expecting organic growth of between 4 and 6% for its 2018 full year results.

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and chief executive officer of Pernod Ricard, said: “H1 FY18 was a very good semester, with an acceleration vs. FY 17, in particular in China, India and Global Travel Retail. For full-year FY18, we will maintain our focus on digital, innovation and operational excellence (including pricing.) We expect sustained and diversified growth to continue across our regions and brands. We are therefore increasing our guidance for full-year FY18 organic growth in Profit from Recurring Operations to between +4% and +6%[8].”

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