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McBride plunges as boss steps down after latest profit warning

Since the beginning of last year, McBride has issued a handful of profit warnings, and chief executive Rik De Vos has decided to stand down following this latest misstep

cleaning products
McBride makes ‘own-brand’ washing powder, cleaning spray and bleach for supermarkets

Cleaning products maker McBride plc (LON:MCB) dealt investors a double blow on Thursday as it announced the departure of its chief executive after sounding the profits alarm once again.

Shares in the £175mln company, which makes ‘own-brand’ air fresheners and bleaches for retailers, plunged 10.6% to 94.1p in morning trading on Thursday.

READ: McBride shares drop after latest profit warning

McBride warned that full-year earnings will be “modestly lower” than expected, primarily due to poor sales performances in Germany, France and Italy.

Analysts, who had expected pre-tax profit of £28.7mln in 2019, said the firm had been struggling to pass through price rises to customers who have been tempted away by cheaper private competitors.  

The profit warning came as CEO Rick De Vos said he would be stepping down from his position after four years in charge.

“In recent years, we have achieved much in a challenging trading environment,” he said in a statement.

“However, I now consider that the Group requires different leadership to deliver the next phase of its growth ambitions. I'm confident that I will be leaving McBride well positioned to realise these ambitions.”

Progress has slowed of late

A search for his successor is underway, although De Vos will stay in his role until a replacement is found.

City broker Liberum said McBride made “significant operational progress” at the beginning of De Vos’ tenure, although the past 18 months has been a struggle amid soaring costs and growing competition.

“In what remains a challenging retail environment across Europe, it appears CEO Rik De Vos has decided that moving forward meaningfully quickly could be a struggle for the company and decided to explore other opportunities,” analysts concluded.

Quick facts: McBride PLC

Price: 64.576 GBX

LSE:MCB
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £118.04 m
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