The company has appointed Mark Moran as the new chief executive and chief financial officer, following the confirmation of a major long-term restructuring of its debt. Moran joins the group from consumer healthcare company, SSL International, which was recently acquired by Reckitt Benckiser, where he was the group finance director. He replaces Jim Smart, who is stepping down after two years presiding over Premier’s financial strategy.
The latest changes come as Premier seeks to return to growth after a dismal half-year when profits fell 28.7% to 25 June 2011. Having sold off its canned grocery business, including canned meat company Fray Bentos, which has since been resold to Baxters, it is now concentrating on eight key brands in a bid to return to profit.
The appointment is the latest in a succession of appointments to shore up the management team. Chief executive officer Michael Clarke joined the company from Kraft in September, with Graham Hunter of 2 Sisters Food Group and Northern Foods, joining a few months later to head up the grocery business and Iwan Williams taking on the newly configured bakery and retailer-branded chilled ready meals business, Brookes Avana.
Clarke said: “Mark Moran will be a terrific addition to the team. His expertise will be invaluable as we continue our journey to rebuild the company and restore growth. I’m delighted that our new leadership team is now complete.”
Premier supplies a broad range of customers, including the major multiple retailers, wholesalers, foodservice providers and other food manufacturers. Its iconic brands include Batchelor’s, Bisto, Oxo and suet-brand Atora.