Imperial Tobacco has appointed Amal Pramanik to the role of general manager for the UK. He replaces Peter Richards, who has been promoted to Western European regional director for Imperial Tobacco.

Pramanik believes his previous role as general manager of Imperial Tobacco Netherlands, which had to deal with the introduction of a ban on smoking in public places this summer, will stand him in good stead for coping with the changes ahead in the UK. The Government is proposing new measures to cut cigarette sales by banning the display of tobacco products in stores and introducing plain packaging.

“Imperial Tobacco Netherlands has many similarities with Imperial Tobacco UK,” said Pramanik. “It is a very successful market with a very good team of people and good processes – and I’m sure I can implement all my learnings there to help Imperial move forward in this country.”

Pramanik’s new responsibilities will include overseeing the sales and marketing teams from the company’s UK base in Bristol, and developing its portfolio of brands, which include Lambert & Butler, Richmond, Golden Virginia rolling tobacco and Superkings.

“Our UK business is a hugely significant element of Imperial’s global operations,” added Pramanik. “Yes, there are challenges ahead with further potential legislative restrictions, but we have the right people, brands and processes in place to continue the success.”

Pramanik was general manager for the Netherlands for two years and before that marketing manager for Imperial’s Australia business from 2001. He entered the industry 19 years ago with British American Tobacco in India, following senior sales and marketing positions with PepsiCo and Gillette in the same country.

Imperial made clear its objections to the government’s proposals in its response to the consultation that closed last week.