Dawson boss resigns after US profits slide: American chief's pay-off could be pounds 500,000 as gains drop more than pounds 7m in six months

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The Independent Online
PHILIP Kemp, chief executive of the American arm of Dawson International, the Pringle textile group, has resigned following the sharp fall in profits there. He will receive compensation for loss of office that could total pounds 500,000.

Mr Kemp had a three-year contract at Dawson Consumer Products and, although his salary was not disclosed in Dawson's 1993 annual report, advisers close to the company estimate that he was paid pounds 165,000 a year.

Trading profit from the US collapsed from pounds 8.5m to pounds 723,000 in the six months to September, leading to a 41 per cent fall in group pre- tax profit to pounds 9.2m.

Mr Kemp's three-year contract will probably not be paid in full.

Sir Ronald Miller, chairman, refused to detail Mr Kemp's compensation package. 'It is a matter for disclosure to shareholders first via the annual report,' he said.

Sir Ronald stressed that Mr Kemp had resigned and was not sacked. But he added that Mr Kemp's close association with the US operation formed part of the reason for his departure.

According to the last annual report Mr Kemp also owned 370,000 Dawson share options.

In early March the group said it was setting aside pounds 50m to restructure the American business, a move that will push the group into loss for the year to 31 March.

Nick Kuenssberg, currently chief executive of Dawson's UK-based business, Dawson Premier Brands, will replace Mr Kemp as managing director of the group.

The shares were unchanged yesterday at 163p.