Watmoughs chief quits after dive

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The Independent Online
Clifford German

Declan Salter, chief executive of Watmoughs, the printing group, yesterday resigned after less than eight months in the job. He has paid the price for the halving in Watmoughs' share price since his appointment, after the group posted disappointing results for 1996 and two profit warnings this summer. He leaves with a redundancy package worth an estimated pounds 200,000, representing a year's salary.

Patrick Walker, Watmoughs' 65-year-old chairman, will return as chief executive, having only recently handed over the reigns to Mr Salter after grooming him for the job since 1994.

He intends to stay as chief executive for another two years, but will hand on the chairmanship to Sir Derek Birkin in November, two months ahead of schedule.

The board blames the strong pound, erratic paper prices and price-cutting by continental competitors for the setback.

The shares, which fell from 450p in February to just 178p last month, rebounded 4.5p to 206p yesterday.