Coca-Cola Enterprises has appointed Stuart Agates to the role of head of energy, tasked with maintaining the soaring sales growth of Relentless.

Agates was given the role in the same week the group announced that its energy brands Relentless, Monster and Powerade had helped drive a UK volume growth of 6% over the past year.

He joined CCE 14 years ago and has held a number of key commercial positions, most recently regional director for central England. Agates' key focus will be to drive growth of Relentless, which has soared 23% to £52.8m [Nielsen 52w/e 16 January 2010], buoyed by the launch of 50ml Relentless Shots last July.

Agates will be based at CCE's UK HQ in Uxbridge, and replaces Dave McNulty, who has been appointed trading director of on-premise. McNulty's move follows the formation of a new sales function at CCE, which resulted from the recent merger of its licensed and cold channel teams.

He joined CCE in January 2008 as head of energy and was credited with taking its energy division to another level. In addition to introducing the Monster energy brand into the UK portfolio, McNulty managed last year's Relentless Shots launch and championed "the continued development of the Relentless brand".

Prior to joining CCE, McNulty spent 15 years at Kraft Foods and before that held a number of senior roles at McVitie's-to-Hula Hoops owner UB.

Ian Deste, vice president of sales and customer development at the group, said that McNulty would play a key role in developing and improving CCE's sales and customer development team.

Coca-Cola Enterprises this week reported a 2.5% drop in full-year group revenues to $5.1bn.

In Europe, volumes went up 5.5%, driven by Coke Zero and a 7% increase in sales of Coca-Cola-branded products.

"We are committed to maximising our operations to seize the attractive growth opportunities in Europe," added CEO John Brock.