Michael Etherington is the new group operations director of premium ice cream brand manufacturer Hill Station. He replaces Steven Jones who left the group in October.

Etherington joins at a difficult time for the UK's third largest ice cream manufacturer. In December, Hill Station resumed trading on the Stock Exchange after shares were suspended in November, but issued an immediate profit warning due to "limitations" at the Cwmbran site.

The AIM-listed company is in the process of consolidating its production into the Cwmbran plant following a reverse takeover deal in 2005 in which it acquired popular consumer brands Loseley Dairy Ice Cream and Granelli. The integration has been repeatedly delayed as new kit is installed and the company has been forced to keep its Cheadle factory open, which led to a cash crisis after failing to secure additional funds from existing backers.

Hill Station has now entered into a £2m five-year term loan stock facility with shareholders and private investors.

Etherington joins from Heinz, where he held operations management roles, most recently for two frozen food sites in Norfolk. In his new role, he will take charge of manufacturing, purchasing and logistics.