Yowie appoints new CEO after disappointing first half, shares plunge

Yowie appoints new CEO after disappointing first half, shares plunge

EDUCATION and confectionary company, Yowie Group Ltd (ASX: YOW) has appointed a new CEO following a disappointing first half.

The board of Yowie has allowed former CEO Bert Alfonso to step down from his position of Global CEO and resign as a director, effective 2nd January.

The swift departure of Alfonso follows Yowie issuing a downgrade in growth guidance for FY18.

Thanks to low sales performance for the first half of FY18, net sales growth guidance for the full FY18 financial year has been revised to 17 per cent versus FY17, from 55 per cent.

The key factors for Yowie's decision to revise the sales guidance include hesitant retailers unsure of Yowie's potential success with the group's Discovery World program. Yowie expected Discovery World would add US$3 million (AU$3.8 million) to FY18's budget, but is now expected to fall short as retailers are hesitant to bring on more, lower priced offerings to the crowded set.

Additionally, Yowie was set to launch in Canada for a full financial year but was delayed until October.

The group also cites a "reduced feature opportunity" at its largest US retailer as a key factor for the reduced sales guidance.

Alfonso will be replaced by Mark Schuessler, former global COO and head of Yowie in North America.

Despite the gloom of the reduced sales guidance, Yowie's second quarter was generally quite positive.

Global net sales increased by 23 per cent in the second quarter, but sales were flat in the US and Canada.

In early December shares in the Australian confectioner soared on the announcement it was making an aggressive push into the United States.

Shares in Yowie have plunged following the announcement of the departure of Alfonso. Shares are down 31 per cent to $0.15 per share at 12.30pm AEDT.

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