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Danish brewing giant Carlsberg has hired an external candidate, Jacob Aarup-Andersen, to replace Cees ’t Hart as CEO.

Aarup-Andersen, who is Danish, joins Carlsberg from ISS, where he has served as CEO since 2020. ISS is a global player in facility management with 360,000 employees operating in 60 countries.

His starting date will be announced at a later date.

Hart will retire by the end of Q3 2023 at the latest.

Prior to ISS, Aarup-Andersen had senior leadership roles at Danske Bank and Danica Pension. Before that, he was an investment professional in firms such as Danske Capital, TPX-Axon Capital, Montrica Investment Management and Goldman Sachs.

Chair of Carlsberg’s supervisory board Henrik Poulsen said: “As part of our ongoing succession planning, the board has been through a comprehensive assessment of CEO candidates from around the world, with Jacob Aarup-Andersen emerging as the best candidate. Jacob is an outstanding CEO with a strong track record in delivering shareholder value and organic and inorganic growth in addition to driving the ESG and digitisation agendas.

“Jacob brings a unique blend of excellent strategic skills, financial acumen and discipline, global operational experience and an engaging and purpose-led leadership style. We’re pleased that he’ll be leading the next stage of Carlsberg’s value-creating growth journey, and we’re looking forward to welcoming him at Carlsberg.”

Aarup-Andersen commented: “I’m really looking forward to joining Carlsberg, a truly iconic company. I’ve always admired the unique heritage and strong values of Carlsberg and look forward to building further on that great foundation. The Group’s strong international presence as well as its brand portfolio and ambitious ESG agenda, combined with the long-term mindset and the values of giving back to society through the Carlsberg Foundation, are truly inspiring.

“I’m very impressed with the successful journey that Carlsberg has been on these past years. Cees and the leadership team have created a strong foundation, both financially and strategically, and I will continue the strong shareholder value focus. I’m looking forward to working with the team over the coming years to further accelerate the full growth and value creation of this unique company.”

Carlsberg announced Cees ’t Hart had decided to retire after eight years as CEO last week.

Morning update

Aldi has sought to maintain its position as the UK’s best-paying supermarket by raising its starting pay for store assistants to a minimum of £11.40 per hour nationally, and £12.85 within the M25.

The new £11.40 per hour starting rate, which is effective from 1 July 2023, is more than 13% higher than it was a year ago, representing an investment of more than £100m in colleague pay in the past 12 months.

The new rates are higher than the Real Living Wage, set by the Living Wage Foundation, of £10.90 per hour nationally and £11.95 inside the M25.

Aldi also highlighted that it is the only supermarket to pay for breaks, which for the average store colleague is worth an additional £927 annually.

This announcement follows a series of pay increases, including raising hourly rates for 7,000 warehouse staff across the UK.

Aldi UK and Ireland CEO Giles Hurley said: “We believe our colleagues are the best in the sector and we are committed to ensuring they are also the best paid.

“We are incredibly proud of every single member of Team Aldi and are pleased to become the first UK supermarket to pay a minimum of £11.40 per hour to all store assistants.”

Aldi is set to create more than 6,000 new jobs this year, adding to the 4,500 permanent roles created last year.

Elsewhere, Unilever has kicked off the third tranche of its programme to buy back shares with an aggregate market value equivalent of up to €3bn.

Following two previous €750m share buyback tranches in March 2022 and September 2022, Unilever has commenced the third stage of the programme again for a market value equivalent to €750m.

The third tranche will commence on 17 March 2023 and will end on or before 24 July 2023

The purpose of the programme is to reduce the capital of Unilever.

After taking into account the number of shares bought back under the second tranche, the maximum number of shares that can be bought back under the third tranche is 239,846,867.

French retailer Casino Groupe has raised €723.2m from the sale of a chunk of its shareholding in Brazilian retail chain Assaí.

The group has sold selling 18.8% of Assaí’s share capital (254 million shares) at a selling price of BRL16.00 per share (US$15.13).

The transaction is expected to close on 21 March 2023.

At the end of the transaction, the Casino Group’s Assaí capital stake will be 11.7% and it will therefore no longer control the company.

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 is up another 1% to 7,481.5pts.

Risers include Naked Wines, up 7.7% to 97p, Virgin Wines, up 3.1% to 46.4p and Fever-Tree, up 2.4% to 1,083p.

Fallers include Deliveroo, down 3.8% to 85.5p, Bakkavor, down 1.5% to 105.4p and Finsbury Food Group, down 1.5% to 96.1p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE regained 0.9% yesterday back to 7,410pts following recent sharp falls on concerns over US banking collapses.

Deliveroo closed down 0.8% to 88.9p after announcing its annual results having dropped below 85p in earlier trading.

Yesterday’s risers included Kerry Group, up 3.9% to €92.26, Britvic, up 3.8% to 860.5p, AG Barr, up 3.6% to 543p, Just Eat, up 3% to 1,612.8p, Greencore, up 2.9% to 81.4p, Coca-Cola HBC, up 2.9% to 2,132p, C&C Group, up 2.8% to 145p and Compass Group, up 2.8% to 1,926.5p.

Fallers included Nichols, down 2.3% to 1,055p, Imperial Brands, down 1.1% to 1,1862.5p, Naked Wines, down 1% to 90.1p, Bakkavor, down 0.9% to 107p and Pets at Home, down 0.9% to 353.2p.