Chief stands down at Porter Chadburn

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The Independent Online
RAY DINKIN resigned as chief executive of Porter Chadburn yesterday, taking responsibility for the mini-conglomerate's poor profits performance over the past 18 months, writes Tom Stevenson. The shares, down from a 40p high in July, closed up 1p at 16p.

Pat Barrett, non-executive chairman, denied that institutions had called for Mr Dinkin's head following the announcement in November of a passed interim dividend and continuing losses. He said: 'We have hit a bad patch and Ray was closely identified with the rebirth of the company in its current form seven years ago. He felt a new chief executive was needed.'

Mr Dinkin, unavailable for comment yesterday, will stay on until a successor is found next year. There were no details of any compensation for loss of office, but it is understood he was employed under a three-year rolling contract on a salary, in the year to April 1993, of pounds 185,000.

Porter Chadburn's business combines the US's third-largest label printer with the distribution in Britain of leisure goods such as Head tennis rackets.

Last month, the company said it planned to focus on its US interests and to sell its underperforming UK activities.

Profits tumbled from a pounds 7.2m peak in 1990 to losses of pounds 3.6m in the year to April 1993. In the six months to October there was a loss of pounds 1.4m, after continued weak consumer demand in the UK and operating problems in the US.

Institutional investors, which stumped up pounds 20m in 1991 to back a one-for-two rights issue, are thought to have put pressure on the company's non-executive directors to halt the recent decline.

Analysts have estimated that the US businesses might be worth up to pounds 40m on their own, against a market capitalisation for the whole group of pounds 15m at yesterday's close.