April 6, 2016 / 7:07 PM / 3 years ago

Lindt & Spruengli names new head of U.S. business

An employee places almonds on pralines at the plant of Swiss chocolate producer Lindt & Spruengli AG in Kilchberg near Zurich in this April 10, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/Files

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss chocolate group Lindt & Spruengli AG (LISN.S) on Wednesday named U.S. sales chief Daniel Studer as head of its U.S. operations, replacing Thomas Linemayr, who is leaving the company at the end of April.

Lindt is focusing on profitability at its Russell Stover business in the United States, which will mean trimming some products and sales promotions.

Lindt bought Missouri-based Russell Stover in 2014, a deal which made the Swiss premium chocolate maker the third biggest in the U.S. market, behind Hershey (HSY.N) and Mars.

The $1.5 billion acquisition cemented North America as Lindt’s largest market, accounting for nearly half of 2015 group revenues.

Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by David Evans

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