James Cropper appoints MD at Paper Products

Bracewell has a "deep understanding" of the business
Bracewell has a "deep understanding" of the business

James Cropper has promoted from within to fill the top job at its Paper Products division.

Marketing director Richard Bracewell steps up to helm the division as managing director. Paper Products includes the Cumbrian group’s Creative Papers and Luxury Packaging offering.

Bracewell has also recently been involved as business transformation lead at its Specialty Paper business, which produces Colourform moulded pulp products for packaging.

He has worked at the £130m turnover paper and advanced materials business for nearly six years. His previous experience included more than 18 years working at Shell in senior leadership positions.

The Paper division is currently James Cropper’s largest business unit and posted sales up 37% in the 2021-2022 financial year at £70.4m. The division also accounts for 88% of the group’s energy expenditure, and the energy price crisis saw costs balloon by 70%. The division made an operating loss of £2.4m as a result.

Earlier this year James Cropper said it would reduce the number of paper machines at its Burneside mill from four to three, with two in production at any given time as part of a fresh focus on value rather than volume.

James Cropper said Bracewell would continue to lead the ongoing business transformation programme at the division, and “ensure its seamless integration into the company's day-to-day operations”.

Bracewell said he was delighted about the new role and confident about the future for the unit.

“The changes that we are making within the business, will help us to accelerate our growth strategy in the manufacturing of bespoke papers and moulded fibre packaging, ensuring that we continue to provide our customers with the highest quality products and solutions,” he said.

CEO Steve Adams ran the paper operation before he took over as CEO a year ago.

Adams commented: “We are thrilled to welcome Richard Bracewell as our new managing director for Paper Products. 

“His leadership, expertise, and deep understanding of our business will undoubtedly drive us towards greater achievements.”