Nichols, the soft drinks group, is expected to announce the appointment of Taylor Purkis to the position of group financial director at the group's AGM later today (15 May).

Purki, a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, is currently finance director of the European operations of Energizer Inc., a global, branded consumer goods company.

Prior to this position, Purki held various international finance director roles with SSL Healthcare, based primarily in Europe and America.

Taylor is expected to join the business mid July.

The company said his international background and FMCG experience will be a "valuable addition to the current executive team."

"The first 17 weeks trading in 2008 have been in line with our budget expectations and slightly ahead of the same period last year, despite strong comparatives for April 2007, which was the sunniest month of the whole year. At this early stage we are pleased with progress year to date and are on track to deliver further progress in the full year," the company said in a statement.