Rupert Morris

Source: AF Blakemore

Blakemore has promoted Rupert Morris to group trading director

Spar wholesaler AF Blakemore has completed a management restructure as part of its five-year strategic plan for the business.

The move follows last year’s divestment of its cash & carry estate and the recent acquisition of Philpotts from the administrators of Patisserie Valerie.

The company is planning to focus on its Spar business and other food distribution operations under the leadership of joint MDs Jerry Marwood and Geoff Hallam.

Blakemore has recruited Ranald Forbes as supply chain director and Nikki Rogers as food solutions director.

Nikki Rogers

Source: AF Blakemore

Nikki Rogers has joined as food solutions director

Forbes has 30 years’ experience in supply chain and distribution roles across businesses including Fresh Direct UK, Brakes, Wincanton, DHL and Tesco.

Rogers joins from BP, where she was European convenience implementation manager and before that retail trading director.

There are also promotions for Rupert Morris and Sarah Ellis, who become group trading director and group marketing director respectively.

“These are exciting appointments for AF Blakemore with further announcements to be made regarding the delivery of our new commercial strategy,” said commercial MD Marwood.

Wholesale distribution sales director Neil Mercer is set to leave the business at the end of April, while Blakemore said wholesale distribution MD James Russell is helping it through the transition.

“AF Blakemore is a great business with some fantastic plans for the future,” said Russell. “I remain committed to the company for an extended period of time and will continue to work to ensure the best possible service to our customers.”

Annual results for the year ending 30 April 2018 show the wholesaler recorded a pre-tax loss of £20.7m on sales of £1.26bn. However, it recorded pre-tax profit of £8.5m on sales for the continuing parts of the company of £1.1bn.