Champagne Jacquart has appointed a new export director specifically for the UK and Ireland.

The Champagne house confirmed late last week that Mamadou Gueye will oversee both on- and off-trade sales for Jacquart in the two markets. Previously, Jacquart had split the role between two people, both of whom also covered other European markets.

Gueye joins Jacquart from the Loire negociant, Marcel Sautejeau, a subsidiary of Castel, where he was export director. Prior to this, the 44 year-old was assistant director of the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Nantes. His previous experience also includes sales and marketing positions at the Lyonnaise des Eaux-Dumez and at the Centre International pour le Commerce Extérieur in his native Senegal.

He replaces Patrick Spanti, who previously looked after Jacquart's on-trade and specialist exports to the UK and Ireland. Spanti has moved to cover Jacquart's markets in Continental Europe.

"The UK market is a priority for us," said Jacquart & Associes Distribution managing director, Jean-Marc Pottiez. "Having a senior director dedicated to the UK and Ireland is a serious investment for Jacquart ... , which shows our commitment to both markets, where we're consolidating our distribution and strengthening our position."

Gueye added: "There has to be a thread which connects the on-trade and off-trade. In my new position, ... there will be co-coordinated activity across the board, making it more rational and more effective."

In August, Jacquart split its distribution in the UK, with Paragon Vintners taking over several channels from PLB Wines in the country. Paragon now handles distribution for Jacquart Champagnes in the UK on-trade, cash and carry, multiple specialists and independent retail sectors. PLB, with whom Jacquart has worked since 2004, is continuing to distribute the company's portfolio in the multiple grocery sector.

Paragon will focus on Jacquart's Mosaïque range, while PLB will handle the Tradition range. Jacquart's Prestige, Special Cuvées and Vintages, meanwhile, will be available through both distributors.