THE prime objective of the new head of business at Linde Material Handling (UK) is to increase profitability.

Richard Smart has taken on the role at the leading forklift truck and warehouse equipment manufacturer, based in Kingsclere Road.

He will work with the heads of sales, after-sales, used, short-term rental and finance.

Richard will also deal with the managing directors and senior management of Linde’s national network companies, to identify and improve business performance and process efficiency.

A qualified senior finance professional, Richard brings a breadth of business experience and active commercial knowledge to the new role, having previously held senior positions in the chemical and logistics industries.

His latest role was with Linde’s heavy truck division in Merthyr Tydfil where, as chief financial officer, he was responsible for the commercial, sales administrative, HR and IT functions.

Richard said: “I have worked with Linde for three years and I’m delighted to have this opportunity to head up the business development in the materials handling division.

“I will be looking to build on our business performance by analysing our current processes to make sure they are as efficient as possible.”