(Adds background, analyst comment, share price)
LONDON Oct 13 Sports Direct said its
acting chief financial officer was leaving to take a new job,
the second management change in less than a month when the
British retailer's profit is plunging and it is trying to mend
its battered image.
The 450-store sportswear chain said on Thursday that acting
CFO Matt Pearson would stay in his role until his resignation
takes effect on Dec. 31. It has also appointed Herbert Monteith
as its interim head of finance.
Pearson's exit follows that of chief executive Dave Forsey
in September when the company named its billionaire founder and
controlling shareholder Mike Ashley as the new CEO.
The changes at the top come at a challenging time. Sports
Direct last week cut its profit forecast for the second time in
a month, blaming the latest slump in the pound.
The company's management has also been focusing on changing
its working practices after it was publicly criticised by
politicians who compared conditions at its warehouse in central
England to a Victorian workhouse.
Sports Direct has launched a review to try to improve
conditions and is also trying to win over shareholders, unhappy
with its poor corporate governance standards.
The weak pound after Britain voted to leave the European
Union in June is adding to the problems for Sports Direct, whose
shares have lost more than half their value this year.
The company said last week that in view of sterling's recent
weakness it had entered into a hedging arrangement with respect
to the pound/dollar rate.
However, it said sterling's dramatic overnight fall had
resulted in a "crystallisation of that rate" at $1.19, resulting
in a hit of about 15 million pounds to its 2016-17 core earnings
(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton/Keith Weir)