Warning by Jessups has shares tumbling: Managing director leaving as loss is forecast

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Jessups, the motor dealer, fell 36p to 80p yesterday after the company issued a profits warning and announced the departure of its managing director. They later recovered to 95p.

Jessups said it would make a loss for the 16 months to the end of last year despite a strong performance over the previous 12 months. The company's reporting period was extended to 16 months to bring it into line with the rest of the sector.

James Power, chairman, said the losses in the past four months were due principally to poor management of the company's used car stock. 'Traditionally, business is very slow at that time of the year and we had two September-to-December periods beause of the change in the year-end,' he said.

The Vauxhall, Nissan and Ford dealer made pre-tax profits of pounds 707,000 in the 12 months to 31 August, pounds 200,000 higher than the previous year, but that will be cancelled by the losses from September to December.

Ron Joseph, managing director, is to leave the company. Mr Power said he was negotiating a compensation package with him. Stan Thompson, who runs the group's car leasing division, takes over.

A new finance director, I Harris, has joined from Coopers & Lybrand. Mr Power said he wanted to strengthen the financial function in the wake of the group's trading problems.

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