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China's COFCO searches for new GM for Great Wall by Natalie Wang13/07/2017  

COFCO Wine & Wine’s booth at Chengdu Wine Fair this year

The news was announced in a statement posted on COFCO’s website on 10 July amid months of rumours of an imminent leadership reshuffle in COFCO’s alcohol related business and Great Wall’s sliding sales performance, according to a report by Chinese newspaper Beijing Business Daily.

Earlier in March, there were talks that COFCO was looking to merge business related to Baijiu, yellow wine, domestic wine production and imported wines into one holistic department, the newspaper said.

The recruitment news also came at a time when Great Wall’s half year report is due to be announced, which is most likely believed to reflect lacklustre growth, according to the newspaper.

In 2016, Great Wall’s sales declined by 9% as Chinese consumers’ demand for domestic wines waned, while COFCO’s imported wine business division – COFCO Wine & Wine’s sales revenue grew by 147% to RMB 400 million (US$58.9 million) last year.

COFCO’s drinks division has a few domestic beverage brands including a Baijiu brand from China’s central Hunan province, yellow wine from eastern Zhejiang province, its most renowned Great Wall winery and its newest wine & spirits importing department of COFCO Wine & Wine founded in 2014.