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Laurent-Perrier chief quits

The boss of recession-battered Champagne house Laurent-Perrier has quit after just 18 months in the job, the company has confirmed.

Stéphane Tsassis replaced Yves Dumont as chairman of the Tours-sur-Marne-based company at the beginning of last year, during a troubled time for France’s fourth biggest Champagne producer.

A combination of price rises and economic conditions has seen Laurent-Perrier’s turnover slump by nearly one-third over the last two years, reaching €171.8m in the 12 months to the end of March after a recovery in the fourth quarter.

Laurent-Perrier said Tsassis had left for ‘personal reasons’, and would be replaced temporarily by former Moët Hennessy executive Michel Boulaire while the company looks for a replacement.

The highly experienced Boulaire, 62, has carried out consultancy assignments for Laurent-Perrier over the last four years, and has also worked for Heidsieck Monopole, Marie Brizard, Alliance Loire and Kronenbourg during a 40-year career.

The company also announced that CFO Etienne Auriau and cellar master Michel Fauconnet had joined the company’s management board.

Laurent-Perrier, owner of the eponymous Champagne brand as well as Delamotte, De Castellane and Salon, recorded a net profit of €10.6m in the year to the end of March, 44% down on last year.

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Written by Richard Woodard

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