Staveley chief quits on profit warning

STAVELEY, the troubled engineering and minerals group, yesterday announced the departure of its chief executive along with a profit warning and the long-awaited sale of its two measurement businesses.

Shares in the group fell 9p to 122p as it revealed that the disposals would cause it to report a pre-tax loss of pounds 74m for the year to 28 March.

The company said Roy Hitchens had ceased to be chief executive "with immediate effect" and the process of finding a replacement had already started. In the meantime Harry Tulley, the chairman, will take over the running of the minerals division while Bob Brown, the finance director, will run the services division.

"Roy began to feel an inability to put the problems right," Mr Tulley said. "He was losing shareholders' confidence."

Mr Hitchens, who was on a two-year rolling contract, was paid close to pounds 600,000 last year. However, Mr Tulley said that this was swelled by pension contributions and that discussions about his pay-off, which had only just started, would only take his basic salary of about pounds 250,000 a year into account.

Staveley has long been criticised by institutional investors for its performance. Guinness Peat Group, the aggressive investment group run by Sir Ron Brierley, has 11.3 per cent of the shares.

Last night Blake Nixon, a director of GPG, said the announcement was "rather disappointing" adding that GPG would be considering its position. "The financial control has clearly been weak," he said.

Staveley has been trying to sell the weighing businesses since last year, when it decided to focus on its services activities. Its Weigh-Tronix subsidiary is to be sold to a management team backed by Berkshire Partners for pounds 44m in cash. But Staveley could not find a buyer for Chronos Richardson. As a result, the company had decided to turn over the division to its management and to ring-fence the possible losses, which could amount to about pounds 7m. But Mr Tulley said that option was much cheaper than closing down the business.

Analysts said the shortfall at Staveley's services division was more worrying. The company said a new management team at Integral, its facilities services business, had reduced the value of work in progress and written off debts with a value of pounds 3.2m. As a result, Staveley Services is expected to make a profit of just pounds 100,000 in the year to March.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk