By Andy Young

The board of Australian Vintage Limited (AVL) has announced the appointment of Richard Davis as its chairman of the board, effective from today.

In an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange, AVL confirmed the appointment following the retirement of current chairman Ian Ferrier. Non-executive director Brian McGuigan has also confirmed his retirement.

Davis, who joined the AVL board as a non-executive director in May 2009, said he was very pleased to have been asked to serve as AVL's chairman and that it was an "honour" to succeed Ferrier.

"Both Ian Ferrier and Brian McGuigan have made an enormous contribution to AVL helping to build the business to one of the more successful wine companies in Australia," Davis said.

"They have been a steadying force as the wine industry continues to face difficult market conditions.

"On behalf of our shareholders, the board, management and all at Australian Vintage I would like to congratulate Ian and Brian for their tireless dedication and leadership and wish them both all the best for the future."

AVL also confirmed that McGuigan has agreed to continue his involvement in the promotion of the McGuigan brand globally and that his signature will continue to be included on the McGuigan labels.

He said: "I would like to thank our shareholders for their continued support of the company, as well as AVL's executive management team and dedicated employees."

Ferrier added: "I am of the firm belief that collectively, the board of AVL has the appropriate skills mix and experience to successfully guide the business into the future. I thank them for their support and counsel."

Last week AVL announced that it expects its full year profits to fall by about 20 per cent because it has not produced as many grapes as expected. "Yields from owned vineyards are below expectations due to the effects of the previous year's frost on our own vineyards," the company said.

This news comes despite the fact that McGuigan Wines has become the fourth biggest wine by volume in the UK following a 22 per cent increase in sales in the past year.

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The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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