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Jonathan Warburton steps down from AG Barr

Jonathan Warburton has stepped down from the board of AG Barr, the British drinks manufacturer, just weeks after his family's bakery business posted a huge fall in profits.

Jonathan Warburton has stepped down from the board of AG Barr, the British drinks manufacturer, just weeks after his family's bakery business posted a huge fall in profits.

AG Barr, the maker of Irn-Bru, said on 20 August that Heineken Americas president John Nicolson will join the board, while Warburton, who chairs the eponymous family business, will give up his non-executive director position.

“Jonathan Warburton steps down from the board, with immediate effect, to cut back on his outside responsibilities to focus more on his role at Warburtons,” the statement said.

Warburtons saw a 37% fall in profits to £16.3 million (€20.74 million) in fiscal 2011, which was down to a restructuring of its bakery operations, the Bolton-based family business said in late June. Turnover for the year was up by £3 million to £495 million.

The company, which was founded in 1876 as a small grocery store, has not yet replied to a request for additional comment.

Fifth-gen Warburton has worked at the business, best known for its sliced bread, since he was 23. He took control of the company with his cousins Brett and Ross in 1991 following their fathers' retirement, and became chairman in 2001.

He first joined AG Barr in 2009, at the same time as Robin Barr, the great-grandson of the founder, handed over the entire management to non-family members for the first time. A number of Barr family members still have shareholdings in the company. 

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