Mark Schuessler, the MD and CEO of Australia-based confectioner Yowie Group, has stepped down from the roles.

Schuessler, who was appointed CEO in 2018 after two years as chief operating officer, left the positions yesterday (24 July).

In a stock-exchange filing, Yowie said he “will be available to continue to assist the company in the coming months”.

“I extend my gratitude to Mark for the years of service and commitment he has given to the board and Yowie in his various roles, in particular for steering the company through the difficult period of Covid,” chair of the board Sean Taylor said. “We look forward to announcing the appointment of a replacement CEO in the near future.”

In April, Yowie reported a 10% fall in nine-month net sales to $10.6m. The company said its Q3 sales were flat as “softness in core product was offset by the addition of New Zealand seasonal sales”.

Yowie also said inflation and unfavourable economic situations had impacted consumers’ decisions to purchase non-essential food items.

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“Consumer consumption continues to be negatively impacted by the prevailing economic uncertainty and inflationary pressures and retailers continue to be cautious with promotional and inventory management,” the company said at the time.

Yowie also booked an EBITDA loss of $482,000, compared to a profit of $707,000 in the year prior.

As well as the lower sales, the company also pointed to the increased cost of freight and storage, as well as expenses linked to a trademark lawsuit.

In February, Yowie published its half-year accounts, which included a net loss after tax attributable to members of $205,000, down 77% compared to a year earlier.