UK confectionery and soft drinks group Cadbury Schweppes has announced that John Sunderland, chief executive officer, will become chairman following the AGM on 8 May 2003 when the current chairman, Derek Bonham, will stand down at the end of his three-year term.

Roger Carr, Cadbury Schweppes’ senior independent director, will become deputy chairman.

At the same time Todd Stitzer, currently executive director and chief strategy officer, previously president of Dr Pepper/Seven Up in the USA, will become chief executive officer.

John Sunderland’s appointment will be full-time until August 2005, and subsequently, part-time.

Upbeat trading update

In a statement Sunderland said the company expects to achieve its financial targets for the full year 2002. He commented that second half results had been satisfactory overall, adding that the group expects to meet its financial targets for underlying earnings growth and free cash flow for the full year 2002.

A strong performance in Britain and Ireland was backed up by a good showing in continental Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East. However this is expected to be offset by lower profits in the Americas due to the difficult economic environment in Argentina and a subdued trading performance in North America.

Cadbury Schweppes earns around 80% of its profits from businesses outside the UK. The strengthening of sterling against a number of currencies, mainly the US dollar, is expected to negatively impact earnings by around 4% in 2002, the company said in a statement to the media.