Hutchings row strikes Lupus

LUPUS Capital, the manufacturing investment group which remains embroiled in a leadership battle with founder Greg Hutchings, said yesterday it expects to post a nine per cent fall in annual sales after a highly disruptive year for the company.

Lupus has yet to call a general meeting requisitioned a fortnight ago by entrepreneur Hutchings, who has launched a second quest to reinstate himself as chief executive of the firm after he was ousted last year.

Hutchings still holds an 11 per cent stake in Lupus and has sent a letter to shareholders claiming he would be best-qualified to take the helm at the firm again.

Lupus appointed Louis Eperjesi as chief executive on 14 January and confirmed yesterday that directors Michael Jackson, Roland Tate and Keith Taylor (who stepped into Hutchings’ shoes last year) have already retired as directors.

In a pre-close trading statement yesterday, Lupus said total sales for the year are expected to come in around the £241.6m mark, a fall of nine per cent from last year’s £266.6m.

Lupus’ building products division underwent a substantial restructuring over the first half of last year, after being hammered by the downturn in UK and US residential housing markets during the crisis. However, it said yesterday the businesses stabilised over the second half and would benefit from higher levels of activity in the property markets.