Olly Wehring

just On Call - Treasury Wine Estates still keen on US market as CEO departs

By | 23 September 2013

The US remains an integral part of Treasury Wine Estates operations

The US remains an integral part of Treasury Wine Estate's operations

Treasury Wine Estates has reiterated its commitment to the wine market in the US, despite today's departure of its CEO due to the company's stock writedown in the country.

Following on from Treasury's announcement in July that it was taking a US$145.7m writedown in the US, CEO David Dearie was confirmed this morning (23 September) as having left the company with immediate effect. Dearie's departure came about following a board review after the inventory tidy-up in the US.

In a conference call after the announcement, chairman Paul Rayner said that Treasury remains committed to the US. “The US business is (an) integral part of our operation,” he said.

“I think the American management hasn't been there (for) a long period of time," Rayner continued. "I think we've taken the necessary provisions we think (we need to) to take the business forward. I'm not going to give a time scale as to when things are going to improve. The only thing we've said publicly is that we're reaffirming guidance for this year to the overall result. But, we think that the decision we've made is going to certainly help us in the process going forward.”

Treasury's Americas division was its only regional unit to report a fall in operating profits for the 12 months to the end of June.

On the recruitment process for a new CEO, Rayner said: “We'll be looking internationally for someone. We'd be looking internally and externally. I think we're looking clearly for someone with the right balance of skills. That certainly would include someone with international skills, someone with experience in the US would be an advantage but broadly we're looking for someone with international business experience.”

To read the transcript of today's conference call, click here.

Expert analysis

Treasury Wine Estates Ltd in Wine (World)

Treasury Wine Estates became an independent company following the demerger of Foster’s Group’s wine and beer unit in 2011. Due to challenging conditions in the company’s key markets in North America, Western Europe and Australasia, it has restructured its business, switched its focus from volume to value generation, and is committed to further expansion to fast-growing markets, particularly in Asia Pacific. This profile examines how the company can enhance its growth prospects going forward.

Sectors: HR – personnel, Wine

Companies: Treasury Wine Estates

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