Treasury Wine's top Asia executive Peter Dixon departs to rival Accolade Wines

Asian profits were up 31 per cent to $153.1 million. Treasury shares slipped by 3.8 per cent to $15.58 by mid-afternoon on Monday. The Australian Financial Review revealed the departure online.

A Treasury Wines spokeswoman confirmed the departure on Monday. Mr Dixon will be replaced by Tom King, who is the chief operating officer of Treasury’s Asian operations, and who shifted to Shanghai last year. Mr King had previously been the managing director of Treasury’s European operations. “Peter Dixon has decided to depart the company to pursue other career opportunities and the company thanks Peter for his contribution,” the spokeswoman said. “The fundamentals of the TWE business in Asia remain unchanged, the company has a strong leadership team in place, and remains committed to its growth plans with its partners.”

The Carlyle Group bought Accolade Wines from CHAMP Private Equity and Constellation Brands in 2018 for about $1 billion. Accolade owns brands including Hardys, Banrock Station, Leasingham, and Grant Burge Wines. It is understood that Mr Dixon has been offered a large incentive package by the new private equity owners of Accolade.

Mr Dixon had been at Treasury Wines and its predecessor companies since 2008.

Mr Clarke said last week that Treasury was poised to acquire up to two small wineries in France along with premium vineyards to supercharge a push into China with a portfolio of three French-made wines, one of which would be branded Penfolds.

Mr Clarke said the fragmented French wine category made up 40 per cent of the total wine market in China, and the company wanted to secure a chunk with some French-sourced labels to sit alongside the hugely successful Penfolds wines from Australia, which have been a major driver of impressive profit growth in China.

“This is a happy hunting ground for us,” Mr Clarke said last week.

Treasury is aiming to expand its distribution in China’s cities by 50 per cent in the next three years, using the lure of luxury Penfolds allocations to retailers to gain more shelf space.

The Asian region was the top performer for Treasury in the first half of 2018-19, although profit margins slipped marginally to 38.9 per cent from 39.3 per cent as it invested in a new warehouse. The Americas division, where Treasury is well advanced in an overhaul of 40 per cent of its distribution systems, delivered a 12 per cent rise in EBITs to $112.1 million, although margins fell to 18.5 per cent from 19.9 per cent. Mr Clarke said profit margins would begin rising again in the US from 2019-20.


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