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LloydsPharmacy appoints Kevin Birch as its new CEO

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LloydsPharmacy appoints Kevin Birch as its new CEO

By Arthur Walsh

LloydsPharmacy has appointed Kevin Birch as its new CEO, the multiple announced this afternoon (August 31). 

Mr Birch, who has spent three years as chief retail officer at LloydsPharmacy, replaces Toby Anderson, whose departure was announced in May this year six months after the company was bought by the Aurelius Group in a £477m deal.

He will lead the company’s retail business, including MASTA Travel and the healthcare services division, a statement explained.

Prior to joining LloydsPharmacy, Mr Birch held the role of CEO at Avicenna Pharmacy Group, before which he spent 14 years at Walgreens Boots Alliance where he was senior vice president and retail pharmacy operations director. He has over 30 years’ experience in retail. 

Mr Birch said he was “delighted” to accept the position, commenting: “I look forward to working with our colleagues on creating a new future for LloydsPharmacy.”

The multiple has faced a number of difficult headwinds since Government funding cuts were introduced in 2016, with its 2020-21 accounts revealing losses of £100m as well as the divestment of 76 stores during that period.

However, online division LloydsDirect has seen healthy growth in recent years and is now a close second to market leader Pharmacy2U in terms of EPS nominations.

The 2020-21 Companies House report described a “successful transformation strategy” to turn the company “into an omnichannel business that provides choice in healthcare to patients and consumers… we are particularly pleased with our delivery in digital revenue this year”. 

The report listed challenges including funding pressures, a tough recruitment market, changing consumer behaviours and a loss of market share after closing or selling more than 200 stores.

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