UK-based drinks giant Diageo has appointed Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) CFO Nik Jhangiani as its financial chief.

Jhangiani will move into the new role “later this year”, according to a statement released today (3 May), staying on at CCEP until a suitable successor is found.

He had been working at CCEP as CFO since 2012, according to LinkedIn.

It comes as the Guinness owner grapples with a weak start to its 2024 financial year.

In the six months ending 31 December 2023, the Johnnie Walker owner’s net sales slumped 1.4% on a reported basis and 0.6% organically on the year prior, to $10.96bn.

The Don Julio Tequila maker issued a profit warning last November, predicting a dip in underlying and organic operating profits in the first half of its financial year due to pressures on its Latin America business.

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CCEP is to announce Jhangiani’s replacement “in the near future”, having already completed “a thorough search”, it said.

Jhangiani will replace Lavanya Chandrashekar, who had been in the position at the Smirnoff producer since July 2021.

Commenting on Jhangiani’s exit, Damian Gammell, CCEP CEO said: “[Nik] has developed a strong team and we have great talent at CCEP who will continue to drive the fantastic business we have become today. I wish Nik the best in his new role, and I look forward to announcing his successor in the near future.”

Jhangiani added: “I remain fully focused on delivering on our commitments whilst enabling an effective transition to my successor. I look forward to continuing to follow the company’s success.”

Weak H1 performance

In its first-half results, reported in January, Diageo’s volumes declined 9%, and 5% organically in the period.

Operating profits dropped 11% at $3.32bn, while operating profit before exceptional items were down 5% organically and 7% on a reported basis

The Latin America and Caribbean division, which made up 11% of Diageo’s annual net sales in its last fiscal year, saw a drop in regional net sales as well as “increased trade investment, lower operating leverage and adverse mix resulting from downtrading”.

Earlier this year, CEO, Debra Crew defended the company’s premiumisation strategy, despite the weak performance.

Speaking to reporters at a London briefing in January, she said: “Premiumisation is still there but what I would say is consumers are being smart about how they shop. They’re being very choiceful in that, so we’re still seeing a lot of normalising activity.”

CCEP booked revenues of €18.3bn for FY24, a 5% boost on 2022, while volumes declined 0.5% to 3.2bn unit cases. Operating profits sat at €2.3bn and profits after tax reached €1.6bn, an increase of 12% and 9.5% respectively.