Marnie Millard to step down as chief of Vimto maker Nichols

The boss of Vimto maker Nichols has revealed plans to step down from the drinks firm, as it saw sales for the past six months hit by the coronavirus lockdown.

Marnie Millard is to quit as chief executive at the end of 2020 after seven years leading the Merseyside-based company.

She will be replaced by chief operating officer Andrew Milne.

John Nichols, non-executive chairman of the company, said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Marnie for her significant contribution to the group over the last seven years and wish Andrew every success in leading the business during the next phase of its development.”

The leadership change came as the company reported that group revenues had tumbled by 17.3% to £59.2 million for the six months to June 30.

Nichols also saw operating profits slide by 77.4% to £3 million for the same period.

The company said first-quarter sales were up 6.2% against the same period last year, but second-quarter sales dived by 35.2% as it was impacted by the closure of bars, pubs and cinemas.

Nevertheless, the company board said it “remains pleased” with the group performance in light of the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

Mr Nichols said: “Although the immediate future remains uncertain, we are confident in Nichols’ ability to emerge from this period well-placed to continue to deliver the group’s long-term strategic plan.

“In light of the ongoing impact to the financial results of the group due to the global pandemic, the board remains pleased with the group’s performance.

Shares in the company moved 1.3% higher to 1,200p in early trading.