EMI chairman Eric Nicoli has been appointed as non-executive chairman of Vue Entertainment with immediate effect.

Nicoli will work closely with Vue CEO Tim Richards to facilitate the company's continued growth in the UK and Ireland, including the opening of an additional 10 new state-of-the-art multiplexes over the next two to three years. Nicoli has a strong music background as chairman of EMI since 1999 and non executive chairman of HMV Group from March 2001 to February 2004.

Nicoli is also a board member of Creative and Cultural Skills, the creative industries led body aimed at improving competitiveness through skills, and he also sits on the steering group which advises the culture secretary on the government's Creative Economy Programme.

Richards says of Nicoli's arrival: "This is a key appointment for Vue. Eric's track record as a corporate leader is second-to-none and we're delighted he has joined us during an exciting time for our business. His appointment demonstrates Vue's intent on sustaining its position as a leader in its industry. I'm sure he will make a valuable contribution to Vue's ongoing success."

Nicoli adds: "I was impressed by Vue's achievement of rapidly becoming the best in the business, so the opportunity to join the company was a hugely attractive and exciting proposition for me. I look forward to helping the company continue to lead the way in the cinema industry, and to supporting Vue as it goes from strength to strength."

Over the past two years Vue's market share of the UK and Irish box office has increased to over 20%. Vue's circuit has now reached 59 cinemas with almost 600 screens and over 127,000 seats which attract over 30 million customers per annum.