The chief executive of Fife furniture maker Havelock Europa has resigned as the company announced a large loss in the first six months of the year.
The Kirkcaldy-based company saw a pre-tax loss of £2.6 million between January and June compared with an £868,000 loss for the same period a year ago.
CEO David Ritchie, who has been in post since May 2015, has resigned with immediate effect to “pursue other business interests”. He has been succeeded by Shaun Ormrod.
The company’s shares lost a sixth of their value in early trading this morning.
The interim results show that revenue over the six month period decreased by 9% to £23.2m, compared with £25.4m last year.
Havelock Europa said its lower revenues were a result of a weaker order book, in part “reflecting increased market uncertainty since mid-2016”.
Havelock Europa is one of Fife’s biggest employers, with more than 300 staff based at John Smith Business Park in Kirkcaldy.
Chairman Ian Godden has provided £600,000 of funding this year – £300,000 via an issue of new shares and £300,000 through an unsecured loan.
He said: “Havelock has experienced a difficult first half, with market uncertainty among both public and private sector clients resulting in reduced or delayed activity.
“I believe, however, that our new leadership team, combined with our developing commercial strategy, will set a strong foundation for the future.”
The update comes three weeks after a company warning that this year’s results would fall “significantly below expectations”.
The company’s net debt has increased to £5m from £3.6m a year ago. The company’s bank overdraft facility was increased from £4.75m to £6m in May.
A comprehensive review of strategy has been carried out over the last six months, with the results of this due to be announced at the end of October.
Mr Godden said that he expects the company to trade profitably in the second half of this year and hopes to improve its performance next year.
He added: “With a reduced cost base following the restructuring of the business over the last 18 months, the group is well placed to improve its performance, as these changes take effect, and generate a positive return to shareholders.
“The board would like to thank staff for their support and commitment during this difficult period.”