China Mengniu Dairy has promoted Gao Fei to CEO, a move announced alongside a set of mixed 2023 financial figures.

Gao Fei, a Mengniu vice president and head of its UHT business, took the helm with effect on 26 March.

Jeffrey Lu Minfang, who has been Mengniu’s CEO since 2016, becomes the company’s vice chairman.

Gao, 47, joined the group in 1999 and was named to his previous positions in 2016.

In a stock-exchange filing, the company said Gao “has abundant practical experience in sales, marketing and promotion and [the] business operation of dairy products”.

The news came alongside the publication of Mengniu’s 2023 results. Revenue was up 6.5% at 98.62bn yuan ($13.65bn). Mengniu said it had expanded its share of China’s liquid milk market, while its chilled yogurt “achieved counter-trend growth”. Liquid milk accounted for more than 82bn yuan of Mengniu’s sales.

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Revenue from milk formula, which includes infant formula, dipped 1.3% to 3.81bn yuan. Mengniu said its Bellamy’s brand, acquired in 2019, saw “strong growth in sales”.

Operating profit increased 13.8% to 6.17bn yuan. However, the company’s net profit attributable to owners fell 9.3% to 4.81bn yuan amid higher tax expenses and a fall in net finance income.

Some 94.33bn yuan of Mengniu’s revenues come from the Chinese mainland.