BreadTalk CEO quits, chairman to take over

THE group chief executive officer (CEO) of BreadTalk Group, Henry Chu Heng Hwee, will leave the company with effect from Dec 31, 2019.

The 49-year-old is quitting for “personal and health reasons”, the mainboard-listed food and beverage operator said in a bourse filing on Wednesday morning.

Upon Mr Chu’s departure, BreadTalk’s group executive chairman, George Quek Meng Tong, will undertake the roles and responsibilities of the group CEO.

Mr Chu was appointed as CEO on July 1, 2017. He is responsible for overseeing the group’s global operations, focusing on strategic planning, investments, business development and regional expansion.

His resignation comes almost two weeks after BreadTalk reported a plunge in its second-quarter net profit amid mounting costs.

Net profit was more than halved, falling 57.9 per cent year on year to S$1.02 million for the three months to June 30, even as revenue grew 9.8 per cent to S$163.3 million. The bottom-line hit came from a surge in distribution and selling expenses.

BreadTalk, which has more than 990 outlets worldwide, grew store count for directly operated bakeries and restaurants, as well as “4orth” food concepts, during the first half of this year, although the expansion may have eaten into receipts.

Shares of the company were up one Singapore cent or 1.47 per cent to S$0.69 on an ex-dividend basis at Tuesday’s close.