(Fixes grammar in headline)
* David Ritchie leaves in wake of profit warning
* Builder failed to complete planned number of homes in 2016
* Finance director appointed interim CEO
LONDON, Jan 9 Bovis Homes said its chief
executive David Ritchie had quit just days after the British
housebuilder warned on profit because it failed to complete the
number of homes it expected at the end of 2016.
Ritchie, who has been chief executive since 2008, will be
replaced by Finance Director Earl Sibley on an interim basis
while it seeks a permanent replacement.
The company had said on Dec. 28 that it would not hand over
180 largely built and sold private homes to buyers before the
end of the year, resulting in a likely shortfall in full-year
profit against market expectations.
The statement came on the first trading day after the
Christmas break, adding to the element of surprise.
Shares in the FTSE 250-listed builder fell as much as 6
percent on the day of the profit warning, as analysts said the
problem was self-inflicted rather than linked to demand.
The stock, which has been the worse performing British
housebuilder since the June Brexit vote, rose 2 percent to trade
at 827 pence at 1022 GMT on Monday. reut.rs/2i9O9Qp
The shares, however, are still 19 percent below the level
they traded at before the referendum.
The British property market has been generally resilient
since the EU vote, defying predictions from economists of a
downturn, and the average price of the homes Bovis completed in
2016 was up about 10 percent on a year earlier.
Ritchie said the company had doubled in size and had
delivered record profits under his tenure, but it was "now the
right for someone new to lead the group into its next phase of
Broker Liberum, which rates Bovis a "hold", said:
"Management change could be positive for the Group in due course
if the building of homes can be improved, so that the Group can
exploit a decent landbank more effectively."
(Reporting by Paul Sandle, Graphic by Alistair Smout; editing
by Sarah Young/Keith Weir)