Clothier 'living on borrowed time' at Dalgety

Institutional investors in Dalgety yesterday warned that the company's chief executive, Richard Clothier, was living on borrowed time after it issued its second profits warning in two months.

Investors in the troubled pet food to fertilisers group took fright at the latest warning, driving the share price down by almost 15 per cent to 225.5p, which wiped more than pounds 113m off its stock market value.

Some institutional investors expressed anger at yesterday's trading statement. One, who declined to be named, said: "Just when we thought it could not get any worse it has. He [Clothier] is living on borrowed time."

Mr Clothier, however, ignored the threats and said he had no plans to resign: "I see eye-to-eye with the new chairman, Sir Denys Henderson, and the finance director. We have agreed about our approach and now we have got to get on and do it. I am determined to stay and deliver results."

Dalgety is considering selling one or more of its five divisions as part of an urgent strategic review . "I do not rule out selling one or two of our main businesses," said Mr Clothier.

Two of its divisions will undergo emergency surgery. According to industry sources, Dalgety has plans to make up to 700 people redundant at its ailing pet food business, about a fifth of its workforce. Jobs will also be lost at its fertiliser and animal feed business.

Analysts believe the price fall will leave the group vulnerable to a takeover bid by a predator which would break up the group. "Dalgety's credibility is at rock bottom. But things could get even worse," an industry analyst yesterday. "A rival may not be willing to buy such damaged goods. But companies such as Nestle or Heinz may be interested in businesses such as the pet food division."

Dalgety has warned that underlying profits will fall to around pounds 65m this year, compared with analysts' forecasts of pounds 80m-pounds 85m. A host of exceptional charges, totalling pounds 138m, will plunge the group into the red.

Dalgety's trading profits in the past three months have fallen well short of expectations. The chief offender is the pet food business, which produces the Felix and Winalot brands. Supply problems and price competition from Mars, its chief rival which sells Whiskas cat food, have resulted in poor sales. Dalgety has been forced to put aside pounds 67m to overhaul the business and fund redundancy costs.

Dalgety's decision to buy Quakers Oats' European pet food business in 1995 has drawn criticism from analysts. But Mr Clothier is adamant it was the correct decision. "It was right for us to buy the business and sell our consumer businesses such as crisps. But I admit our execution of the merger has been poor," he said yesterday.

Dalgety's agribusiness has also been hit by the wet weather in June, which reduced demand for fertilisers.

After inspecting the books Dalgety's new finance director, Ken Hanna, has decided to provide pounds 58m to cover a writedown in the value of some of Dalgety's assets and a clutch of businesses that are already up for sale.

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + echSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
i100
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, Linux, Shell, Bash)

£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...

Data Scientist (SQL, PHP, RSPSS, CPLEX, SARS, AI) - London

£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...

Financial Technical Consultant (C++, C#, Finance, MSc, PhD)

£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Financial Technical Consultant (C++, C#, F...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone