AG Barr picks former KP director as md

Soft drinks manufacturer AG Barr has appointed Hugh McPherson, ex-managing director and head of marketing for the crisps division of KP Foods, as managing director.

McPherson has been brought in to replace executive chairman Robin Barr, aged 60, who is due to retire within the next year. McPherson will take up the new role of chief executive.

The Glasgow-based business makes and distributes soft drinks brands such as Tizer, Irn Bru and Orangina.

McPherson was previously managing director and head of marketing at KP Foods crisps division (MW March 26).

He has spent virtually all his working life at United Biscuits, which owns KP, in a variety of marketing and management roles.

AG Barr’s pre-tax profits leapt by 115 per cent last year from 5m to 10.8m, on sales up 7.5 per cent to 110.3m.

The company puts the rise in profits down to efficiency savings from a new factory in Cumbernauld, outside Glasgow; a switch to lower-cost plastic bottles for some brands; and the lower cost of sugar because of the strength of sterling.

At KP’s crisps division, McPherson’s marketing role will be filled by marketing controller Neil Robinson, who joined the company in January from St Ivel.

Meanwhile, Steve Poulton becomes managing director of the division.

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