Inter Link has appointed former group finance director Chris Thompson as chief executive.

Thompson replaces Paul Griffiths, who left the cake company in October to focus on his charitable quest to restore a monastery in Manchester.

Thompson joined Inter Link in 2004 and had been acting chief executive since Griffiths’ departure. The company said that it was talking to external candidates to fill the finance department vacancy.

Inter Link made the announcement in a trading statement last week, as it vowed to keep expanding and consolidating its operations to boost efficiency.

The company said it was focused on further expansion of manufacturing operations in mainland Europe and acquisitions.

Alwin Thompson, executive chairman, added: "We continue to move forward with reorganising the business. We will consolidate our manufacturing operations into larger, more efficient units."

As part of that reorganisation, Inter Link closed its Hoppers bakery in Herne Bay this year and transferred the business to its major sites in Blackburn.

It also moved into a central distribution depot in Warrington. These two developments are expected to cost in excess of £2m in the current financial year, it said.

Alwin Thompson said he was optimistic Inter Link would see significant sales growth in the second half of the year with increased Christmas orders, the opening of a new Soreen factory and a range of new product launches scheduled for the New Year.