CHINA – China Mengniu Dairy, one of China’s leading dairy companies, has announced the appointment of Gao Fei as its new CEO, effective March 26th.

Gao Fei, previously serving as the Vice President and head of the company’s UHT business, brings over two decades of experience to his new role.

Jeffrey Lu Minfang, who served as Mengniu’s CEO since 2016, will transition to the position of Vice Chairman.

Gao Fei’s promotion comes alongside the release of Mengniu’s 2023 financial results, which reflect a mixed performance for the company.

Despite a 6.5% increase in revenue to 98.62 billion yuan (US$13.65 billion), Mengniu reported a 9.3% decrease in net profit attributable to owners, amounting to 4.81 billion yuan. This decline was attributed to higher tax expenses and a decrease in net finance income.

The company’s operating profit saw a notable increase of 13.8% to 6.17 billion yuan, indicating a continuous improvement in operating profit margin to 6.3%.

Mengniu emphasized its commitment to high-quality growth, focusing on strengthening its core business, optimizing its business structure, and refining operational management strategies despite challenges such as heightened competition in sales channels.

Throughout 2023, Mengniu remained dedicated to innovation and brand enhancement, resulting in notable achievements for its flagship brands.

The Milk Deluxe brand experienced strong performance, supported by product innovation and enhanced brand value initiatives. Similarly, the Just Yoghurt brand introduced a new packaging format and invested in brand differentiation efforts.

Moreover, Mengniu expanded its product offerings with the launch of a flagship lactose-free milk product under its parent brand, catering to evolving consumer preferences.

The company also invested in a high-end yoghurt brand named YO! Fine Dairy, further diversifies its portfolio to meet the diverse needs of consumers.

Despite challenges in the dairy market, Mengniu expressed confidence in the resilience of consumer demand for dairy products, particularly as awareness of nutrition and health continues to increase among Chinese consumers.

The company affirmed its commitment to a strategy focused on sustainable growth and expressed optimism about its prospects.

In addition to its operational achievements, Mengniu engaged in a share buyback scheme and increased its dividend payout ratio for shareholders, demonstrating its commitment to delivering value to investors amid evolving market dynamics.

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