Finance chief at R&R to quit after 25 years

Ice cream manufacturer R&R Ice Cream has announced that its chief financial officer Andy Finneran will be retiring after over 25 years with the business.

Andy Finneran presents the Outstanding Achievement Award 2015 to Victoria Woodings of Principle Group at the Yorkshire Finance Director Awards at Aspire, Leeds. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

Daniel Martinez has been named successor to Mr Finneran.

The firm said Mr Finneran has been an integral part of the team, which has nurtured the business and overseen its growth from a turnover of just €15m to €1bn today.

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Recently Yorkshire-based R&R agreed a joint venture with multinational food giant Nestle.

The deal will see it sell ice cream and frozen food in over 20 countries.

Over the past 12 months, Mr Finneran played a pivotal role in the discussions, which, subject to final regulatory approval, will result in the creation of the joint venture, Froneri, with turnover of approximately €2.5bn.

Ibrahim Najafi, CEO of R&R Ice Cream, said: “In the coming months there will be time to reflect on Andy’s significant contribution to R&R and the creation of the joint venture which he is a big supporter of.

“At this stage however, I would like to express my gratitude for all Andy has done for the business. Above all, I would to thank Andy personally, for the support and friendship he has shown me in 18 years of working closely together.”

Mr Martinez will join the business on August 1 from Almirall, a Spanish quoted international pharmaceutical business where he is the CFO.

He has fast-moving consumer goods and food experience with Reckitt Benckiser and PepsiCo. “The timing of Daniel’s appointment and Andy’s retirement allows us to implement a full induction and handover and gives Daniel plenty of time to familiarise himself with our ice cream business and our approach of ‘sell more, buy better and manage cost’,” Mr Najafi added.

Mr Najafi said that the Nestle deal is great news for the business and that it’s something that they’ve been working on ever since their first deal with Nestle back in 2001.

He said: “We’ve been partners with Nestle, we know Nestle very well so we’ve been working really hard on this one for a while.

“I feel thrilled about it, Nestle’s a great company and a great partner.”

Mr Finneran said: “This has been an incredible journey and it has been a privilege to work in such a continually successful business over the last 25 years with a very talented team of people and friends. It feels like the right time to pass the baton on to someone younger to help the joint venture achieve their goal and I’m sure Ibrahim and the team will keep the success going.”

R&R currently employs 800 people at its headquarters in Leeming Bar and Mr Najafi says the firm is looking to employ more and make further investment.

Joint venture a major player

The Joint venture between Nestle and R&R will be called Froneri.

The venture will be a close number three player, with annual sales of £1.9bn and 15,000 employees.

Froneri will be based in the UK, where it plans to eventually list on the London Stock Exchange.

The deal is expected to close around the end of the year, subject to employee consultations and regulatory approval.

R&R Ice Cream can trace its roots back to 1932 when ​an enterprising young Italian, Regina Roncadin, opened her first ice cream parlour in Germany​.