StockMarketWire.com - Technical product supplier Diploma said it had appointed Johnny Thomson as its chief executive, while also reporting an expected rise in first-quarter sales.

Thomson, who was currently finance director of catering company Compass Group, would take up the reins on 25 February.

Revenue for the three months through December rose 9% on-year, or 8% on a constant currency basis, with acquisitions completed last year contributing 4%.

Revenues were weighed down somewhat by weakness in the industrial OEM business, which was impacted by some delays during the first quarter.

But the company sought to reassure investors, saying that demand 'remained solid in the quarter and revenues are expected to be recovered in the coming months.'

In the life sciences sector, reported and underlying revenues were up 4%, supported by 'encouraging growth across several revenue streams, particularly in the Canadian Surgical and Endoscopy businesses,' the company said. 'The group's operating margin in the first quarter remained in line with expectations and slightly below the comparable period last year,' it added.

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