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New FD for Dairy Crest as reorganisation nears completion

Tom Atherton to step up as FD of Dairy Crest, as company structure faces simplification

19 Feb 2013 Accountancy Age

By Kevin Reed

A MAJOR REORGANISATION of Dairy Crest's structure and management team will see a new finance director take the reins.

After nearly ten years as FD, Alastair Murray is to leave to pursue other interests. Stepping into the role is Tom Atherton, who has been Dairy Crest's director of financial control for the past four years and has worked at Dairy Crest for seven years. Atherton had earlier held roles with Logica and Thorn.

Murray's departure is one of a number of changes to Dairy Crest's management team. The changes reflect the reorganisation of company structure to become a "more focused, less complex business", it said in a statement to the stock exchange. From 1 April, Dairy Crest will have consolidated under a single structure that will eliminate duplication and bring about £5m of cost savings.

Chartered accountant Atherton takes the role on 23 May, following Dairy Crest's preliminary results.

"The reorganisation announced today continues the decisive changes made by the Dairy Crest management team over recent years to optimise the company's position in a competitive sector," said Anthony Fry, chairman of Dairy Crest.

"Alastair has been a finance director of the highest quality with an excellent reputation both within the business and outside. I have been fortunate as chairman to have had someone who has contributed so much to the company, for which he has my personal thanks as well as that of all my board colleagues. He leaves Dairy Crest with our very best wishes for his future.

"I am delighted to welcome Tom, who has an in depth knowledge of Dairy Crest and broad experience, to the board. We have all worked with Tom over recent years and I am confident that he will step up to this new challenge."

Dairy Crest also announced that it has retained its contract to supply liquid milk to Sainsbury's, with the new deal running from 2014 to 2017.

Its share price climbed 2.00p to 423.00p in this morning's trading, giving the company a market cap of £577.59m.

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