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API Group FD heads to McBride

AIM-LISTED MANUFACTURER API Group has lost its finance director, Chris Smith, to household goods supplier McBride, the company has said.

Smith, who has served as group FD at API since 2008 and is credited by the company for his “significant contribution” to the turnaround of the group and its “restoration to financial health”, will replace outgoing McBride chief financial officer Richard Armitage later this year.

Iain Napier, McBride chairman, said Smith is a “seasoned CFO” with “strong international experience in multi-site and multi-country organisations”.

The appointment comes a month after McBride announced plans to cut about a quarter of its 1,600 UK workforce as part of a strategic review of the business, triggered by a deterioration in the retail environment in UK.

McBride said it was looking at “further opportunities” to restructure the group’s activities, remove unprofitable businesses and reduce capacity in the UK in order to improve profitability. It expects to generate savings of circa £12m by June 2016, with some £3m coming through in 2015.

As a consequence of the review, the board expects to impair the value of assets in the UK by £21m, including £6m of goodwill, in the current financial year, McBride stated in June. The company, which makes dishwashing tablets, washing powders and air fresheners, reported a pre-tax profit of £3.7m for the six months to the end of December 2013.

Chris Bull, McBride group CEO, said the “robust plan” would help restore UK profitability.

“We will exit some business in non-core un-profitable categories, but our capacity to meet growth opportunities in our core categories remains unaffected. We will be entering into full and meaningful consultation with colleagues affected by these proposals,” Bull said in a 30 June trading update.

Shares in McBride were up 1.33%, to 95p, in morning trading on the LSE.

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