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Vimto maker announces new chair alongside trading update

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Nichols, the maker of Manchester’s legendary fruit drink Vimto, has that Elizabeth McMeikan will be the company’s next non-executive chair, following John Nichols’ decision to retire.

McMeikan previously held executive roles with Colgate Palmolive and Tesco and has served as a senior independent director at JD Wetherspoon and Flybe.

The company added in a seperate trading update to the London Stock Exchange that it is “highly confident” for its long-term growth plans, following an uptick in revenues.

For the 12 months to 31 December 2022, total revenue increased by 14 per cent to £164.9m, with second half performance up 10 per cent year-on-year.

Nichols expects to report FY22 adjusted pre-tax profit in line with market expectations around the £25m mark.

The update added that FY23 is set to be a “challenging year as cost-of-living pressures impact customer demand”, but stated that the group will “continue to seek to mitigate these pressures through both cost efficiency and revenue management.”

“With a long-term track record of growth, a proven and diversified strategy, a quality range of brands and a strong balance sheet, the board remains highly confident that the group is very well positioned to deliver its long-term growth plans.”

Nichols, which also makes the Levi Roots and Sunkist brands, said revenue for the year to December 31 was £164.9 million, a 14 per cent year-on-year increase, while cash and cash equivalents stood at GBP56.3 million as of December 31.

McMeikan said: “Nichols plc is an outstanding business with a proud history and exciting future prospects. I look forward to joining the company and working closely with my new colleagues to contribute to the group’s continued, sustainable success.”

John Nichols, who will remain on the board as a non-executive director, added: “Following a thorough search process, in Liz the nominations committee have identified an outstanding candidate to take over as the group’s next chair. She has significant experience in consumer-facing businesses and public company boards, which I am very confident will be of great value to the group.”

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