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Supermarket chain Asda has announced that deputy finance chief John Fallon will succeed Rob McWilliam, who leaves this summer. Mr McWilliam originally became chief financial officer in 2018 to help Asda through the proposed merger with Sainsbury’s. That deal fell through – however, Mr McWilliam had a “pivotal role” in helping the company to its new ownership under the Issa brothers, who agreed to take over the chain last year. The Times reported earlier this week that many members of Asda’s senior staff are looking to leave after getting final payouts from a share scheme run by current owner Walmart. Mr Fallon joined Asda’s finance team in 1996, and became deputy chief financial officer in 2018.


Manufacturer Essentra said that production of its cigarette filters grew strongly in the opening three months of 2021. The business said that outsourcing contracts had helped push the filter part of its business to revenue growth of 10% across the quarter. Across the business, which also manufactures packaging, like-for-like revenue rose 1.4% in the quarter. Chief executive Paul Forman said that the company had benefited from having its fingers in many pies: “The diverse nature of our businesses’ end markets provides a degree of resilience against the macro uncertainty caused by the pandemic, but nonetheless it very encouraging to see that we have maintained the momentum of improving quarterly performance.” Shares rose 1.3%.


Infrastructure company InfraStrata has won a contract to build the foundations of eight wind turbines as part of an offshore wind farm project run by EDF Renewables and ESB Energy. The Neart na Gaoithe project in the outer Firth of Forth in Scotland will be worth £26 million to InfraStrata. The company said it would carry out most of the work at Harland and Wolff’s Methil yard in Scotland, with potential for other work in Belfast, Arnish and Appledore. “The geographical proximity of our Methil facility to the North Sea makes it an ideal site for fabrication and load-out to wind farm projects such as this,” said chief executive John Wood. Shares rose 11%.


Software firm Kainos said that it recruited another 300 employees and contractors in the last year, as it revealed that its annual results are likely to be at the upper end of what analysts expect. The business said that it employed or contracted 2,024 people at the end of March this year, up by 309 since March 2020. It said that demand from both new and existing customers has remained strong, despite uncertainty caused by Covid-19. Full year results will be presented on May 24, Kainos said. Its shares dropped 3.7% on Friday following the news.