Food group names chief
N&P's previous chief executive, David Poole, left the company in October due to a clash of management styles. He is now suing the company for breach of contract and claiming compensation.
Mr Sims will be joining a group which has not enjoyed the best of fortunes of late. Its attempt to pioneer the warehouse club style of retailing in the UK failed and the three Cargo Club sites were sold to Sainsbury's for £45m in March The decision to sell came little more than a year after the concept's launch.
Most recently, the company has become embroiled in a squabble with its largest outside shareholder, the Dutch group SHV Makro, over a possible merger. Speculation continues that the Peacock family, which controls the lion's share of N&P stock, will sell out.
The company's recent financial performance has also concerned industry analysts. Last year's profits fell by half to £16.5m, hit by trading losses at Cargo Club and £4m costs relating to the conversion of cash-and-carry outlets to the TBW format, which also offers office supplies.
N&P says the decline in trade among independent food retailers, which form the bulk of N&P's customers, is coming to an end and that like for like, sales are increasing. It says the success of the National Lottery, launched last November, is drawing more customers into corner shops.
However, analysts remain unconvinced. One said yesterday: "It's good that they have filled the chief executive post, but we still have doubts about the overall strategy."
The shares finished 2p higher at 188p.
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
Justin Bieber's unfinished monkey business
World news in pictures
David Cameron goes to war with newspapers over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
- 1 Tears and cheers as David Beckham ends glittering career after helping PSG to final win
- 2 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 David Cameron goes to war with newspapers over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
iJobs Money & Business
£550 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Fidessa Analyst / PM - Banking - London - Up to £...
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: Sourcing Manager - Banking - London - Up to £500p...
To be discussed at interview.: Queen Elizabeth's School: An experienced and ef...
£294.05 - £330.92 per day + 150 per day travel and accommodation: Orgtel: A le...