Top people moves in drinks: April

MD of Armit Wines Kirsten Kilby steps down  

Kirsten Kilby in her previous role as head of marketing for watchmaker Tag Heuer

Armit confirmed to db that Kilby had left the business as the company revealed the extent of its accumulated financial losses in documents filed at Companies House.

Kilby joined the fine wine business from Berry Bros & Rudd in October 2016, having previously worked in marketing and comms roles for luxury and fashion brands including Tag Heuer, Aquascutum, Paul Smith and Nicole Farhi.

Her appointment followed a challenging period for the fine wine company, which had been affected by a computer system failure in 2016 that it later said had cost it four months worth of operational trading.

Speaking to db soon after her appointment, Kilby said she wanted to streamline the range, stripping out around 20% of the range, and cutting the number of agencies from around 400-500 to 100.

In July 2017, the company, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, was bought by French company InVivo Group as part of its acquisition of Armit’s owner, Dutch company Baarsma Wine Group from private equity firm AAC Capital Partners. Following the acquisition, the €6.5 billion French-based business, which also owns Bordeaux négociant houses Cordier and Mestrezat and one of France’s leading co-operatives, Vinadeis, said it intended to significantly grow its international wine activities.

According to accounts filed at Company House on 3 April, the company reported profits of nearly £565,000 in the 15 months to 30 June 2018, compared to a loss of nearly £603,000 in the previous year on turnover that remained flat (£27.8 million in the 15 months compared to £22.6 million in the 12 months to 31 March 2017).

However, Armit Wines has accrued accumulated total losses of £2.38 million by the end of the 2018 financial year, down from £2.95 million in 2017, and according to the director’s statement, its liabilities exceed its assets by around £1.63m.

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