Second director resigns at MFI

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MFI Furniture lost its second director in a month yesterday when it announced that David Brock had resigned with immediate effect. Mr Brock had been overseeing the company's operations in Germany which the company is abandoning due to poor sales.

His departure follows the resignation of fellow director Trevor Trellett earlier this month. Mr Brock will receive no compensation for loss of office but will be retained as a consultant and will be paid his full pounds 154,000 salary for one year to oversee the group's activities on the Middle and Far East. He owns 394,545 shares in the company which, at yesterday's closing price of 144.5p, were worth pounds 550,000. He will also be able to cash in his share options which are worth pounds 150,000.

Nick Bubb, analyst at Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull, said: "They had a pretty big board for the size of the company, so some sort of pruning is not unwelcome."

John Randall, MFI's chief executive, denied there had been a boardroom bust-up. He said Mr Brock was leaving because the decision to pull out of Germany had reduced Mr Brock's responsibilities. "Germany was a worthwhile option but we have known it is not something we want to carry on with. It is not making enough money and doesn't have enough potential," he said.

Mr Brock's departure, together with that of Mr Trellett, leaves MFI with four executive directors; Derek Hunt, chairman, Mr Randall, Sue Murphy, finance director, and the merchandise director, John O'Connell, who is also deputy chairman.

Mr Brock, who had been with MFI for 25 years, is understood to be joining the board of Freestyles, which is seeking a stock market flotation via AIM.

Earlier this month MFI reported a 21 per cent increase in profits to pounds 70m but revealed a slowdown in like-for-like sales growth. The shares closed 2.5p lower at 144.5p.