Anglian Group's two top men step down

NIC CICUTTI

Anglian Group, the troubled double glazing firm, yesterday announced that its chief executive, Ron Swift, and non-executive chairman, Sir Colin Barker, are to retire. Their departure from the housing products company follows a collapse in the value of its shares after a profits warning last month.

Sir Colin, 68, who retires in January after four years as chairman, will be replaced by David Perry, chairman at John Waddington. Mr Swift, 55, will leave, after 20 years at the firm, when a successor is found.

Share prices, which had risen slightly after a 20 per cent drop 10 days ago to 113p, remained unchanged yesterday at 122p.

Last month, Anglian Group warned that trading profits in the half-year to the end of September were expected to be down 20 per cent and dividend levels would reflect this fall.

In the past two years the company has been hit by a combination of warm weather, heavy competition and the slump in the housing market.

Sir Colin said last month that while sales in the last six months were comparable to last year's levels, an unfavourable change in their mix, from commercial to retail, was bound to hit results. His comments were followed by 90 sackings at BKL Extrusions, the aluminium business bought for pounds 2.5m last spring.

Anglian shares were floated three years ago at 210p. They subsequently traded as high as 350p as Anglian recorded yearly profits of pounds 24.7m in the 12 months to April 1994, before falling to pounds 21.1m this April.

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