Lockhart parent reveals change of chief exec

Lockhart Catering Equipment owner Bunzl announced this morning that its chief executive Michael Roney is to retire from the company after 10 years in the hot-seat.

He will stand down from his position and the board following the conclusion of Bunzl’s Annual General Meeting on 20 April and will be succeeded by Frank van Zanten, who is currently the MD of Bunzl’s Continental Europe business area.

Van Zanten will join the board on 1 February and assume his new role upon Roney’s retirement.

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Commenting on the change, Bunzl chairman Philip Rogerson, hailed Roney’s impact on the company. “Under his careful stewardship the group has gone from strength to strength and grown significantly with sustained increases in the company’s earnings, dividends and share price.”

Rogerson said Bunzl carried out an “extensive” search and selection process to identify a new chief executive, before settling on Van Zanten.

“Frank has extensive knowledge and experience of our business gained over many years and has a successful track record of implementing the company’s long-standing strategy for developing and expanding the group both organically and by acquisition,” he said.

“His appointment will provide continuity for the business as well as its customers and employees going forward.”

Van Zanten first joined the group in 1994 when Bunzl acquired his family-owned business in the Netherlands where he was general manager and he subsequently assumed responsibility for a number of businesses in other countries.

In 2002 he became CEO of PontMeyer NV, a listed company in the Netherlands, before re-joining Bunzl as the MD of the Continental Europe business area in 2005.

Since that time he has overseen substantial growth in both the size and profitability of the business area, with revenue of €450m (£342m) in 2004 rising to €1.4 billion (£1.06 billion) in 2014, and adjusted operating profit increasing from €30m (£23m) to €128m (£97m) over the same period.

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