Company background

Based in Lancashire, Hill Biscuits is one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of traditional biscuits. Employing around 350 staff and producing over 60 million biscuits a month, it manufactures own-label and branded products for the food service industry, supermarkets and discount retailers in the UK and overseas.

The business was acquired by LDC in 2017 which enabled it to undertake a multi-million pound capital investment programme to automate its production lines. These works have been completed and Hill Biscuits looks forward to driving further growth through improved manufacturing capability and market reach.

The brief

Following the departure of the Manufacturing Director, there was an ideal opportunity to strengthen the Commercial Leadership with an experienced and high calibre CCO who also had relevant experience and understanding of the Operational and Supply Chain functions within a similar related business in order to add overall strength to the Management Team.

Through an internal LDC referral, Directorbank’s George Heppenstall was introduced to the investment team and chosen to lead the search process.

The candidate brief called for strong commercial leadership and management skills as well as experience of working in a large, state-of-the-art food manufacturing facility. Commercial acumen and the ability to communicate, influence and motivate at all levels of the business and with key customers was also essential to the role.

The process

Supported by consultant Faye Middleton, the search focused on identifying proven sector specialists with the appetite to join a challenging, fast paced business and a track record of delivering best-in-class commercial operations.

A shortlist of excellent candidates was presented to the Hill team for further assessment and interview, and ultimately Kate Flood was offered the position.

The outcome

Kate is a proven food industry professional with credible delivery within the ‘Big 4’ supermarkets. Results-orientated, she has strong commercial skills and a demonstrable track record of successfully driving business improvement and EBITDA across 25 years in manufacturing environments, both tactically and strategically. Most recently she was Commercial Director at Park Cakes, a supplier of premium own label cakes to major high street retailers.