Havelock Europa chief David Ritchie quits as losses widen

Fife-based shopfitting and interiors group Havelock Europa today said that chief executive David Ritchie had resigned with immediate effect as it unveiled wider first-half losses.

David Ritchie has resigned from Havelock Europa to 'pursue other business interests'. Picture: Contributed

The Kirkcaldy firm said Ritchie, who had been in the post since May 2015, had quit to “pursue other business interests” and has been succeeded by Shaun Ormrod, who was previously in charge of the Farnborough International Airshow.

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The change in leadership comes after Havelock earlier this month warned that its annual profits would fall “considerably below expectations” amid delays in the start of work for key customers and lower-than-expected orders from the public sector.

Ian Godden, the company’s chairman, said: “The board would like to thank David for all his hard work over the last three years and wish him every success in his future endeavours. We would also like to welcome Shaun to the board as CEO.

“I believe that Shaun’s significant experience as a chief executive, allied with his relevant design, interiors, and property redevelopment expertise, will be highly valuable to Havelock as we begin to implement a new strategy for the company’s future growth later this year.”

Godden’s comments came as Havelock said it fell deeper into the red during the six months to the end of June with a pre-tax loss of £2.6 million, compared with an £868,000 loss for the same period a year ago. The wider losses reflected lower sales and higher costs linked to the implementation of a new enterprise resource planning system.

Revenues fell 9 per cent to £23.2m, with the blame put mainly on a “weak opening order book” in the public sector.

Although the second half of the year is expected to be profitable, Havelock reiterated its warning that results for 2017 as a whole will be “significantly below last year”.

The company also said that the results of a “comprehensive review” of its strategy, carried out over the last six months, will be unveiled at the end of October.

Today’s interim figures showed that Havelock’s pension deficit decreased to £7.5m, from £7.7m at the end of last year.