Contract catering group Elior UK has appointed the managing director of its Lexington Catering business as its corporate business development director.
Julia Edmonds is taking on overall responsibility for sales development across the Elior group’s constituent UK businesses during what the firm calls a time of “huge opportunity for growth and innovation.” She is to remain involved with Lexington as its non-executive chair.
She first joined the group when Lexington was acquired by Elior in 2014. She started the Lexington business with Mike Sunley, who stepped down as the firm’s chief executive in 2017.
Edmonds' appointment follows appointments earlier this year of two other directors to the Elior UK board, with Michal Seal covering marketing and communications and Sally Leigh in strategic purchasing & logistics.
“This is about us building on the strength of the brands we have within the group,” explained Edmonds. “We’ve had a lot of success with the brands acquired by Elior in the recent past and this is about looking at how we can strengthen ourselves using all the brands we have in the Elior portfolio.”
Elior has acquired several businesses in recent years. (As one example, in 2019 the company brought together its services for owners and operators of attractions, venues, events and stadiums under the Foodsmiths label.) Elior UK chief executive Catherine Roe sees its breadth of portfolio as an asset as the catering sector strives to come back from the gruelling impact of the pandemic.
“Lexington was the start of our run of business acquisitions and we've worked hard, particularly through the pandemic to make our other brands flourish. We see ourselves as experts in different sectors now, and we want that to come through.”