Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) today confirmed the resignation of Richard Henfrey who will step down as a Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the company with effect from 29 March 2019. The news sent the stock price to dip by 1.312% to stand at $96.290 on 20 March 2019 (2:04 PM AEST).
The company, therefore, announced the appointment of Executive Director Marcus C Blackmore, the son of Blackmores founder Maurice Blackmore, to the role of interim Chief Executive Officer from 1 April 2019. Marcus first joined the company when he was just 18 and has been the part of the Board since 1973, including the position as Executive Chairman until 2017.
Chairman Brent Wallace stated that “In this interim role, Marcus will lead the work to streamline the company, to achieve ongoing success for Blackmores’ business, its people and shareholders.”
It has been reported that Marcus will remain in the role of acting CEO while the Board undertakes the search for a new Chief Executive Officer.
On the academic front, Marcus has been awarded Honorary Doctorate from Southern Cross University for his notable leadership in complementary medicines in Australia. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate from Western Sydney University, awarded for his eservices to charity, business and the broader community.
Natural Health company, Blackmores recently released its six-months results for the first half of Fiscal 2019. It held the flag high with record sales of $319 million in 1HFY19, up 11% on the previous corresponding period. Revenue in Australia and New Zealand increased by $23 million or 19% to $144 million, primarily driven by the domestic growth and substantial increase in sales levels through export to China. The channel shift has led the company’s direct sales in China to decline by 11 %, but it does not reflect the decline in Chinese consumers as they have gone up by 8% being served by Australian retailers through China export.
The record result underscores the company’s approach for continued investment in long-term strategic initiatives and brand while bolstering its advertising and promotion activities in recent months. Net profit After Tax of the company was reportedly in line with the prior corresponding period and stood at $34 million.
On segment front, it was observed that Blackmores’ animal health business, PAW, reported year-on-year revenue growth of 21%, its online store at blackmores.com.au achieved a record sales month in November as consumers embraced natural health as part of Click Frenzy and Black Friday sales and its BioCeuticals Group delivered sales growth of 7% in 1HFY19.
BKL Board declared the interim dividend of 150 cents per share fully franked, payable on 20 March 2019 that has the record date of 5 March 2019.
Blackmores is progressing with its strategy to further develop its China in-country business which recorded a sales growth of 76% on the prior corresponding period with sales during the November ‘11/11 Singles Day’ promotion up 65%, with >200,000 products sold.
For Full Fiscal Year, the company presents an optimistic outlook to deliver modest revenue growth and targets $60 million of savings over the next three years through its Business Improvement Program.
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