Shares in baked goods group Aryzta closed 11.3% higher in Dublin trade today after its chief executive Owen Killian announced his resignation from the role.

The company's chief financial officer Patrick McEniff and John Yamin, CEO of the Americas, will also stand down.

The resignations will be effective at the end of Aryzta's current financial year in July.

The group, which is best known for its Cuisine de France brand here, also announced that it would be reviewing investment alternatives for its Picard business, a specialist food retailer.

Aryzta currently has a 49% equity stake in Picard, which it bought less than two years ago.

It has also agreed to increase its debt to four times earnings from a previous cap of three and a half time earnings.

The Dublin stock market listed food group has been under pressure for some time with a falling share price following a string of acquisitions.

It issued a profit warning in recent weeks cutting its earnings per share guidance by 20%.

The stock has lost nearly two-thirds of its value since March 2015.

Aryzta was created by the tie-up of Ireland's IAWS Group and Switzerland's Hiestand Holding.

The world's biggest maker of frozen baked goods is being forced to retrench as competition from rivals including US-based Hostess eats into its Otis Spunkmeyer cookie brand. 

Labour costs are also squeezing margins, the company has said.

The company said in order to support an orderly transition and to provide stability for the business and management continuity, the board has appointed three new members to its executive management.

The new appointments are Dermot Murphy, COO Europe; Ronan Minahan COO Americas and Robert O'Boyle COO APMEA. 

"The newly constituted executive management team, together with an improved capital structure, provides stability with an objective to deliver, in time, both performance and growth," commented the company's chairman Gary McGann.