Biffa chief financial officer Michael Topham to become chief executive as boss Ian Wakelin plans to step down

Rebecca Smith
Biffa's boss is stepping down
Biffa's boss is stepping down (Source: Biffa)

The boss of waste management business Biffa has announced he intends to step down from the company, with chief financial officer Michael Topham becoming chief executive.

Ian Wakelin had told the board he no longer wanted to hold a full-time executive role and intended to leave the company once its succession plan had been implemented.

It has today been confirmed that Topham will take the reins, but both will remain in their current roles until a new chief financial officer has been found.

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Wakelin said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed the last eight years and will leave satisfied that we have achieved a great deal including successfully bringing the business back to the stock market.

"I would like to thank all of my colleagues across the business for their support and commitment over the years. Biffa is a great business with a great future ahead of it."

Chairman Ken Lever said Wakelin was leaving a business in good health - "the result of the growth strategy which he and his colleagues have been implementing for the last eight years".

Lever added that Topham had played a major role in the development of the group, and was at the forefront of the group's IPO.

The news came alongside the business' full-year financial results, reporting an 8.8 per cent rise in net revenue to £977.7m, and underlying profit after tax up by more than a third to £47.9m.

The company is hiking its dividend, proposing a final one of 4.53p per share, compared to the 2.40p in 2017.

Biffa said expectations for the year ahead remain unchanged, as does its strategy, which is to grow market share and develop services and infrastructure.

Over the course of the year, Biffa tied up seven acquisitions and said today that the pipeline of potential targets "remains strong", with more deals being lined up for the coming year.

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