Graham’s The Family Dairy, Scotland’s largest independent dairy company has announced another non-executive director with the appointment of Billy Keane, the former managing director of Robert Wiseman Dairies (RWD), to its board from 1 December 2013.
Keane enjoyed an 18-year career with RWD, serving as finance director before becoming managing director in July 2010. He left the dairy business in November 2012, nine months after Muller UK & Ireland Group agreed a £279.5 million takeover.
Founded in 1939 by the grandfather of the current managing director, Robert Graham, the Graham family has farmed in the Stirlingshire area for five generations. The Bridge of Allan-based dairy employs more than 340 staff and works in partnership with 70 Scottish dairy farmers.
Explaining the decision to invite Keane to join the board, managing director Robert Graham said: “Graham’s The Family Dairy has ambitious plans to grow our market share that we are determined to fulfil despite challenging trading conditions and a highly competitive UK dairy sector. Billy’s strong financial expertise will support our long-term investment programme and can help increase a greater return on capital deployed.”
This is Graham’s second non-executive appointment following Simon Thomson joining the board in February 2010. The CEO of the Edinburgh-based oil and gas exploration company, Cairn Energy PLC has been an integral part of Graham’s commercial success supporting new product and business development as well as helping to create its new vision and strategy.
The board of Graham’s The Family Dairy now consists of: Dr Robert Graham (chairman); Robert Graham (managing director); Carol Graham (marketing director); Jean Graham (director); Jacky Farrell (finance director); Shaun Dorrian (operations director) and Simon Thomson (non-exec director).
Keane, who is also non-executive chairman of Dairy UK the dairy industry trade body, commented: “Although market competitors for many years, I always held great admiration for the Graham’s business and its traditional family values. It now remains one of the few key players in the industry left in Scotland under independent ownership.
“Having spent considerable time with the Graham family in recent months, it is exciting to discover the passion and vision they have for their brand, products, staff and customers and I am looking forward to supporting its exciting growth plans.”
In its year-end results to 31 March 2103, Graham’s The Family Dairy announced sales increased by 21 per cent to £68m (2012: £56m) with annual pre-tax profits having more than doubled to £1,006,953 (2012: £420,568), thanks to significant brand investment, product development and quality customer service.
Graham’s products can now be found the length and breadth of the country via more than 5,000 independent retailers and all the major multiples including Waitrose, Tesco and Asda, with Sainsbury’s also stocking Graham’s branded goods south of the border
Investment in the Graham’s brand has also been recognised in the latest Scottish Grocer top 40 Scottish brands in Scotland research by Kantar Worldpanel. The family business has jumped from 9th position to 7th thanks to significant sales and volume growth, making Graham’s a must stock brand for all grocery retailers.