Flor Healy

Flor Healy

Ginsters owner Samworth Brothers has confirmed Flor Healy as its new group chief executive.

The former Kerry Foods boss started in the role this week – two months after The Grocer exclusively revealed the appointment.

Based at Samworth’s group HQ in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, Healy fills a position left vacant since March 2017, when Alex Knight stepped down after a year in charge of the family-owned Soreen maker and own label supplier.

Healy spent 14 years as CEO for Kerry’s consumer foods division, having previously covered a number of leading management and finance roles with the company, which includes the Richmond, Cheesestrings and Mattessons brands among its portfolio.

In August, he signalled his intention to step down from the Kerry board as executive director, but remained at the business until the end of 2017 to help his replacement Duncan Everett transition into the position from his role as MD of Kerry’s meat technology business.

In November, sources suggested to The Grocer that Healy, who joined the Kerry graduate development programme in 1984, was left disappointed when Edmond Scanlon, chief executive of Kerry Asia Pacific, won the role of Kerry Group CEO in early 2017, when Stan McCarthy announced his retirement.

Meanwhile, Samworth had been struggling to find stability at the head of the management team after Brian Stein retired as CEO in 2012 after 10 years. Company director Lindsey Pownall succeeded Stein, but relinquished her role for personal reasons in 2015. She was replaced in January 2016 by Knight, who had an association with Samworth Brothers of almost 25 years. His departure saw chairman Mark Samworth take the reins temporarily.

Healy joins the largest maker of certified Melton Mowbray pork pies not long after it reported a year-on-year increase in sales. According to accounts filed in October, turnover reached £949.5m for the 52 weeks to 31 December 2016, from £901.6m for the previous 12 months.

However, total operating profit dipped slightly from £51m to £50.8m as the result of increased acquisitions costs.