The decisive chess move to launch the positive development was the appointment of three directors, who are not part of the company’s executive, but who are important representatives and contact persons on the markets in question. Among them, there is Ed Chan, responsible for Hong Kong and China, Garry Hounsell, responsible for Australia, and Michael Cheek, responsible for the USA.
Ed Chan used to be the managing director and president for China of the American War Mart arms and haberdashery group, Garry Hounsell used to be one of the directors of the Australian Quantas airline as well as of the Orica exploder producer, whereas Michael Cheek is the only one to come from an analogue business, namely from the spirits industry. This troika is led by president Paul Rayner, who has special experience as an executive in the tobacco industry.
“The appointment of three non-executive directors has made our premium wine brands grow quite quickly, above all in China”, Paul Rayner summarizes. “The US market is not really brilliant, but we worked together to improve our profitability there. What we need now is still more presence on the markets. Moreover, we are planning to offer wines from more different price classes. I think we have the potential to implement this better than we did in the past.”
The TWE company’s strategy for China will be to move symbol and premium wine brands – like Grange and the top Penfolds as well as the premium bins and St. Henri – like into the focus. In the middle price categories, it’s above all Wolf Blass who is to be promoted. “In China, French wines are growing enormously, but we are making an effort to make the Chinese understand the premium brands from Australia”, Mr. Rayner says.
According to Mr. Rayner, the TWE company will take part in concrete wine productions in China. To achieve this, TWE has already contacted the Domaines Barons de Rothschild, which cultivated vineyards in the north east of China – as is known, and which are soon going to yield. Mr. Rayner’s comment: “Yes, all these things are on our agenda, but at the moment, we are focusing on the import of premium wines from renowned estates in Australia and the USA.” (red.yoopress)