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Premier Foods (PFD) has named UK MD Alex Whitehouse as its new CEO and former Reckitt Benckiser (RB) finance chief Colin Day as chairman.

Both appointments are effective today, while CFO and acting CEO for the past six months Alastair Murray has left the business.

Duncan Leggett, currently group director of financial control and corporate development, will become acting CFO as a permanent successor is sought.

Richard Hodgson, Senior Independent Director said: “I am delighted that Colin Day is joining the company as Chairman, a role to which he will bring extensive experience at a pivotal time in the company’s history. We are also very pleased that Alex Whitehouse, who has led the successful turnaround of our UK business, has accepted the role of Group CEO.

Former chief executive of FTSE 250 industrial group Essentra Colin Day added: “I am very much looking forward to joining Premier Foods at this key juncture as we look to deliver value for Premier Foods’ shareholders. It is the intention to further strengthen the Board with the appointment of an additional two independent non-executive directors as soon as possible.”

Alex Whitehouse said: “I’m delighted to become Premier Foods’ CEO and look forward to working with Colin and the board to drive further value from our great portfolio of brands. I’m very encouraged by the improved performance of the business over the last couple of years and see this as something we can build on further.”

Morning update

UK consumer confidence slipped back this month, as mounting Brexit uncertainty led to consumers feeling increasingly nervous.

The latest GfK Consumer Confidence Index decreased to minus 14 in August, with declines registered across all measures.

In July, confidence had improved slightly to minus 11, buoyed by low interest rates and growth in real wages.

August however, brought back negative sentiments among consumers both in relation to personal finances and the wider economy

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On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 is up another 0.4% to 7,208.4pts this morning.

Premier Foods is up 2.3% on this morning’s news back to 33.8p, while other risers include Devro (DVO), up 2.2% to 189p and PayPoint (PAY), up 2% to 908p.

Fallers so far this morning include Glanbia (GLB), down 2.1% to €9.87, McColl’s (MCLS), down 1.1% to 45.2p and Imperial Brands (IMB), down 1.1% to 2,074.5p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 took back 1% yesterday to ending trading at 7,184.3pts amid improved sentiment about global trade and the relative weakness of the pound.

Risers included Total Produce (TOT), up 5.2% to 120.5p, Ocado (OCDO), up 4.4% to 1,281.5p, Glanbia (GLB), up 3.1% to €10.08 and Naked Wines (WINE), up 3% to 259p.

PZ Cussons rose 2.2% to 210p after announcing this disposal of two non-core businesses, including its Greek food business.

Tobacco companies Imperial Brands (IMB) and British American Tobacco (BATS) were up 1.8% to 2,097p and 1.5% to 2,872p respectively after falls earlier this week following news of the potential $200bn Altria/Philip Morris re-merger.

McColl’s (MCLS) dropped 5.5% to 45.8p after blaming the poor summer weather for a slump in third quarter like for like sale.

Other fallers included Nichols (NICL), down 2.3% to 1,710p, PayPoint (PAY), down 2% to 890p, Marston’s (MARS), down 1.6% to 125.9p and AG Barr (BAG), down 1.3% to 595p.