Premier Foods plc, the UK's largest food maker, has created a role of chief operating officer in a bid to drive sales of branded products.

The company has appointed Tim Kelly, executive director and chief operating officer for its Hovis bread business and its chilled division, to the new role.

In his new role, Kelly will oversee all of the brands and commercial operations within Premier's Hovis and grocery divisions. He will report directly to CEO Robert Schofield.

Premier's chilled business will report "separately" into Schofield, the company said in a statement to the London stock exchange this afternoon.

The rejig means Will Carter, MD of Premier's ambient grocery business will leave the group. Carter joined Premier two years ago from fruits and nuts supplier Whitworths.

Schofield said: "I believe that this new structure is a natural next step for us to ensure that we deliver on our core strategy of reinvigorating our brands through accelerated innovation as well as increasing marketing investment."