Northern Foods turns to Tulchan

Northern Foods, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of convenience foods, has ended its long relationship with Hudson Sandler as it tries to convince the City that its new operating structure has helped it turn a corner.

The company has hired Tulchan Communications as its retained financial PR agency following a review in which Hudson Sandler took part. The move follows the appointment last year of former Shell Europe retail V-P Pat O'Driscoll as chief executive to drive Northern Foods' three-year restructuring programme.

O'Driscoll's arrival heralded a raft of senior management changes. These included the former British Vita finance director Jez Maiden, who joined in May to replace long-serving Northern Foods finance director Sean Christie.

Kicking off in 2004, the restructure – labelled Get Fit – has seen the Leeds-based firm simplify from 15 operating companies to three divisions: frozen, bakery and chilled food.

Northern Foods director of comms Hilary Baker said the change of financial comms agency had been part of Northern Foods' wider Get Fit review.

'This is all about change and a fresh approach,' Baker told PRWeek.
Northern Foods is a major supplier of convenience foods to UK and Irish retailers such as Marks & Spencer, also a Tulchan client.

The company owns the Goodfella's Pizza brand, Fox's Biscuits and Pork Farms Bowyers brands.

In June Northern Foods unveiled its full-year results, reporting the group-wide review had caused pre-tax profits to fall from £75.4m last year to £4.3m, on sales up two per cent to £1.4bn. Profits fell due to restructuring costs and poor performance in chilled foods.

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