Genius hires former Warbutons exec as manufacturing boss

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Gluten-free bakery brand Genius has appointed a former Warburtons general manager to its senior management team, ahead of an expansion drive.

Liam McHugh, who was general manager of bakery excellence at Warburtons, has joined the free-from label as manufacturing director, where he will be responsible for driving the international strategy of Genius and Livwell brand as well as own-label contracts.

The company is expecting to double its turnover in 2013 following the acquisition of the Livwell brand, which is primarily available to coeliac sufferers on prescription, and the purchase of own-label contracts from Finsbury Foods in a £20m deal earlier this month. Genius has already said it will invest heavily to increase flexibility and output at the former Finsbury’s bakeries in Bathgate and Hull, as well as developing NPD.

Chief executive Roz Cuschieri said McHugh’s appointment would reinforce the Genius’ ambitions to become a global brand.

“He has an in-depth knowledge of manufacturing processes, change management, people development and innovation and is perfectly suited to help drive our expansion plans at home and internationally,” she said.

The brand is already available in North America and Spain, and is poised to expand into further overseas markets this year.

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