Nichols chairman to step down as business reports growth

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

John Nichols is to step down as chairman of the Nichols board
John Nichols is to step down as chairman of the Nichols board

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Nichols chairman John Nichols has announced plans to step down from the role ahead of the soft drinks firm’s annual general meeting, as the company reported growth in its interim results.

After more than 50 years with the group and 15 years as non-executive chairman, Nichols has informed the board that he will retire from the group once a suitable replacement is identified and appointed. 

John Nichols is the grandson of the founder of the company and inventor of Vimto, John Noel Nichols. He joined the business in 1971 and was appointed as Director in 1975.  

History with the company  

In 1986, Nichols became the group managing director, subsequently he became Executive Chairman of the Group and in 2007 he moved to Non-Executive Chairman. 

The board nomination committee has commenced a formal process to recruit his successor, with an announcement to be made in due course.  

Nichols also posted its trading update for the three months to 31 March 2022, where it reported 28.9% year-on-year sales growth to £39.6m.  

Vimto sales strong 

Sales of Vimto outperformed the wider UK soft drinks market, with sales up 10.8% in the year to date compared with 9.8% value growth respectively.  

Out-of-home sales recovered after a slump brought on by COVID-19 restrictions, up a significant 1,387%. However, the group’s international business had a slower start compared with the previous year, with sales down 16%.  

 A spokesman for the drinks manufacturer said: “As expected, the Group continues to experience significant inflationary pressure, but has plans in place to mitigate these in line with forecasts. The Group’s Adjusted PBT2 expectations for full-year 2023 therefore remain unchanged.” 

Meanwhile, associated British Foods has revealed that its food division has proved resilient despite the challenges faced by the business,​ with food sales up 6% to 4.3bn.  

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