Laurent-Perrier has confirmed the appointment of its new chairman.

The Champagne house, which last week posted a 35.3% drop in half-year net profit, said yesterday (1 December) that Stéphane Tsassis will take over from Yves Dumont in the position from the beginning of next year.

Dumont, who will retire in March 2010, will subsequently become chairman of Laurent-Perrier Développement, where he will "provide advice and assistance relating to the development of the group, and issue strategic guidelines", the company said. Dumont will also oversee the house's relationships within the profession and with various trade bodies.

Tsassis, 42, has been the deputy general manager of Laurent-Perrier since July. He has spent most of his career in the perfumery sector. Before joining Laurent-Perrier, he was chairman of the Japanese subsidiary of Guerlain.

"The supervisory board would like to thank Yves Dumont for his work over the last ten years, during which time the image and financial solidity of the House have been considerably strengthened," the company said.

Late last month, Laurent-Perrier said that group net profit in the six months to the end of September fell to EUR11.1m (US$14.2m), as sales fell by 26% year-on-year to EUR85m. Operating profit also struggled, falling by 26.3% to EUR23.8m, with the company blaming a rise in interest charges and a 3.6% slide in sales for the Champagne market as a whole.