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Stock Spirits appoints new managing director for Poland

Vodka maker Stock Spirits Group Plc (STCK.L), under pressure from its largest shareholder, on Friday appointed Marek Sypek as managing director of its key Polish operations.

Sypek, who was CEO at Polish consumer goods company Agros-Nova Holding, will join Stock Spirits in June and replaces Ian Croxford, who has been interim managing director in Poland since January 2015.

Stock Spirits gets more than half its total sales from Poland, its largest market, but also operates in the Czech Republic and Italy.

Its market share in Poland has declined significantly due to increased competition, weak demand and the devaluation of the Polish zloty.

Stock Spirits, which does not usually report first-quarter results, on Thursday said its key Polish operations swung to a profit in the first quarter, reassuring investors that its turnaround efforts were paying off.

Chief Executive Chris Heath also dismissed claims by Western Gate, Stock’s largest individual shareholder, that the London-based company was operating its Polish business by “remote control”.

Upon joining Stock Spirits, Sypek will take full responsibility for Stock Polska and will be based in Warsaw, the company said.

Before joining Agros-Nova, Sypek worked with U.S.-based consumer healthcare firm Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) as managing director for Central & Eastern Europe.

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