The Bull

Thursday 18

January, 201810:43 PM



Yowie gives shareholders a 'reality' check

Yowie gives shareholders a 'reality' check

Yowie's chairman says he is "painfully aware" of shareholder disappointment after the company slashed its full-year sales guidance and replaced its CEO.

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By AAP 03.01.2018 04:14 PM

Australian confectionary maker Yowie has brought shareholders back to "reality" by slashing its full-year sales guidance and replacing its chief executive.

The chocolate maker on Wednesday said it expects net sales to grow by 17 per cent, rather than the previously forecast 55 per cent, due to an 11.7 per cent decline in first-half North American sales.

It also announced chief executive Bert Alfonso has been replaced by chief operating officer Mark Schuessler - who led the North American business.

Chairman Louis Carroll says he is "painfully aware" of the disappointment to shareholders given the number of downgrades over the years.

"People can be forgiven for thinking this is the normal modus operandi," Mr Carroll told AAP.

"Given the extent of this miss we have been determined to get some reality back into things - and we have."

Mr Carroll said Yowie had called on a specialised financial consultant to analyse the business, and will provide shareholders with more specific guidance in the future.

"It is an enormous cut to our forecast but we now have a high degree of confidence that this is a proper reset," Mr Carroll said.

The Perth-based group on Wednesday forecast Canada's contribution to be lower than previously expected after the launch of its product there was delayed.

Yowie also blamed disappointing results from its Discovery World brand - which is expected to fall short of its previously estimated $US3 million ($A4.2 million) 2018 contribution.

Mr Carroll said the company is evaluating whether or not to keep the lower-price brand.

He also revealed the replacement of chief executive Mr Alfonso was a board decision.

"Bert is an experienced and mature businessman and would not have expected to survive a downgrade, in a forecast which he had put his name to, of this magnitude," Mr Caroll said.

"I think it is just the realities of business life."

The update sent shares to a near five-year-low, falling as much as 36 per cent to 13.5 cents in the first half-hour of trade.

That's the lowest they have been since May 2013.

On their first day since coming out of a trading halt, Yowie shares closed down 7.0 cents, or 33.3 per cent, at 14 cents.

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