03 October 2012

Premier Foods announces appointment of Chief Operating Officer to accelerate transformation

Premier Foods today announces it is to strengthen the Company’s leadership team through the appointment of a Chief Operating Officer to help accelerate its transformation.

Premier Foods today announces it is to strengthen the Company’s leadership team through the appointment of a Chief Operating Officer to help accelerate its transformation.

With the Company continuing to deliver on its divestiture and cost reduction plans as well as strategic initiatives to grow its Power Brands, further steps are now being taken to accelerate its journey towards becoming a more focussed and profitable food business.

In recognition of the different opportunities and challenges facing the Company’s Grocery and Bread businesses, these businesses will in future be managed as two distinct divisions. The focus for Grocery will be on continuing to build momentum behind the Company’s branded portfolio, which represents 86% of total Grocery sales. In Bread, a more fundamental approach will be taken to help unlock future value and address the category challenges faced by this division. The Company will, however, continue to preserve appropriate benefits of scale between the two divisions wherever they exist.

In addition to this structure, and as previously announced, the Company expects to deliver further overhead cost reductions in 2013 as it separates recently divested businesses. These will be over and above the £40 million of savings that will be delivered by the end of 2012.

Geoff Eaton appointed Chief Operating Officer

To help execute these strategic changes and ensure continued focus, the Company has appointed Geoff Eaton as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director reporting to Michael Clarke, Chief Executive Officer. 

Geoff has extensive experience of tackling complex financial and operational restructuring projects and creating value through organic growth. Most recently he was CEO of Uniq plc, leading a successful turnaround and growth of the company prior to its acquisition by Greencore Group plc.

Commenting on the changes, Michael Clarke, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“We’ve achieved a great deal so far in 2012 in simultaneously driving growth in our Power Brands while delivering a highly complex restructuring and divestiture programme. As we accelerate the next stage of our transformation, Geoff’s energy and experience will be critical in helping us unlock value in Bread and build further momentum in our Grocery division. I very much look forward to working with him.”

Geoff will become an Executive Director of the Company with effect from 3 October 2012.
No further information is required to be disclosed pursuant to LR 9.6.13 R

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For further information, please contact:

Lisa Attenborough, Director of Communications   +44 (0) 1727 815 850
Richard Godden, Head of Investor Relations       +44 (0) 1727 815 850

Maitland                                                         +44 (0) 20 7379 5151
Tom Buchanan
Brian Hudspith

A Premier Foods image gallery is available using the following link:

As one of Britain's largest food producers, Premier Foods is committed to being the 'Best in British Food - delivering the taste the British love, with food that's made in Britain by people who understand British consumers. We supply a range of retail, wholesale, foodservice and other customers with some of Britain's best loved brands, including Ambrosia, Batchelor’s, Bisto, Hovis, Loyd Grossman, Mr.Kipling, Oxo and Sharwood’s. The company employs around 10,000 people operating from over 40 sites from Plymouth to Glasgow.

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