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Jardine C&C appoints new group managing director

JARDINE Cycle & Carriage (Jardine C&C) has appointed Benjamin Birks its new group managing director to take over Alex Newbigging, who is stepping down after more than seven years at the helm. 

Mr Newbigging relinquishes his role on Sept 30 and will become the chief executive officer of Jardine International Motors (JIM) in Hong Kong from Oct 1. JIM is a subsidiary of Jardine Matheson Holdings, which is also a significant shareholder of Jardine C&C. JIM provides automotive specialist services to the group. 

The 46-year-old will also assume responsibility for Jardine Strategic's investment in Zhongsheng Group, an automotive dealership group representing a diversified portfolio of marques across China, according to Jardine C&C's statement on Wednesday. 

Hong Kong-based Mr Birks, 45, was most recently the chief executive officer of JIM and JIM member company Zung Fu, where he has held the role since 2016.

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He was also previously the chief of Jardine Pacific and IKEA Hong Kong, among other past roles. Mr Birks joined Jardines in 2000.

Jardine C&C's chairman Benjamin Keswick thanked Mr Newbigging for his leadership and contributions to the group, and welcomed Mr Birks.

In February, Jardine C&C saw underlying net profit rise 12 per cent to US$858 million in its full financial year, on the back of greater contributions from its more than 50 per cent stake in Indonesian conglomerate Astra International.

However, the group had also sounded a note of caution, saying: "Astra is likely to face a number of macroeconomic and commercial headwinds in 2019, while the group's direct motor interests and other strategic interests may also see slower growth."