Shares in B&Q owner Kingfisher opened 2.8 per cent higher this morning after it revealed its new chief executive as Sir Ian Cheshire prepares to step down. He will be replaced by the chief executive of Castorama France, Veronique Laury, before the end of the financial year.
Cheshire, who has been with the company for 16 years, reached the decision during talks with the Kingfisher board. He will remain on the board until the end of January.
Daniel Bernard, Kingfisher's chairman, commented:
It has been a pleasure to work with Sir Ian, and on behalf of the board and our colleagues I want to thank him for his successful leadership. He has transformed Kingfisher into a stronger business with a bright future during a difficult economic time.
Over the next five years, the company will look to expand Screwfix and Brico Depot while completing its common brands programme.
Cheshire said: "Now is the right time to hand over to a new leader and I am delighted that Véronique, who I have worked closely with for over 11 years and know is superbly qualified for the job, has agreed to take over from me. I wish her and all our colleagues across the group continued success."
Kingfisher has also announced like-for-like sales growth of 1.8 per cent, but a fall in pre-tax profits of 6.5 per cent to £375m for the six months ended 2 August. The company was hit by a fall in French demand, but the UK market remained relatively favourable thanks to better weather and the tradesman market.