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McColl’s CEO Jonathan Miller has stepped down from his role as the convenience chain remains locked in talks with its lenders to avoid collapse.

McColl’s said this morning that the search to appoint a new CEO is already in progress and the board is “confident of concluding that search successfully in the near future”.

Pending the appointment of a new CEO, Angus Porter, currently non-executive chairman of the group, has assumed the role of executive chairman on a temporary basis.

Karen Bird, chief operating officer, has become interim CEO to manage day-to-day executive responsibilities. CFO Giles David will also assume additional responsibilities.

McColl’s said it remains in “ongoing dialogue” with its lenders towards a longer-term agreement in relation to its existing financing facilities. The group said it “continues to believe that a financing solution will be found that involves its existing partners and stakeholders”.

Angus Porter, executive chairman, commented: “On behalf of the board, I want to take this opportunity to thank Jonathan for the immense contribution he has made to McColl’s and to pay tribute to his commitment in leading the business over the course of more than 30 years. We wish him all the very best in the future.

“As we discuss with our stakeholders the transformation of our business to a grocery-led convenience offer, Jonathan and the Board have agreed that now is the right time to bring in a new Chief Executive to lead the business into a new phase. In the meantime, we have a strong management team in place to take the business forward, and we are confident in our strategy to capitalise on the opportunity in the convenience sector in the years ahead.”

Miller added: “It has been an enormous privilege to work for McColl’s for the last 30 years, most recently leading the business and transforming our offer in partnership with Morrisons. I have worked alongside so many talented and hardworking people and I am enormously grateful for the support I have had from the many thousands of colleagues in the business over many years.

“I remain a significant shareholder, and I leave confident that, with its clearly defined, convenience-led strategy and strong partnership with Morrisons, McColl’s will continue to play a vital role at the heart of local communities across the UK.”

McColl’s shares have nudged up 2% to 2.1p so far today, but remain 93% down year-on-year.

Morning update

Cranswick is today holding a capital markets day and a site visit for analysts and institutional investors at the company’s fresh poultry site in Eye, Suffolk.

Poultry represented 19% of group revenue for the six months ended 25 September 2021, up 35.5%, with strong growth in both Fresh and Cooked Poultry. Average volumes at the Eye facility are currently running at approximately 1.4m birds per week, up from 1.1m a year earlier.

Over the last eight years, the group has invested over £220m in its Poultry operations and developed a unique, fully vertically integrated supply chain and Cranswick said further opportunities exist in the category.

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 is back up 0.3% to 7,481.8pts.

Risers include Ocado, up 2.7% to 1,154.5p, McBride, up 2.1% to 44.1p and Nichols, up 2.1% to 1,375p.

Fallers include Finsbury Food Group, down 2.7% to 72p, Marks & Spencer, down 1.3% to 156.6p and SSP Group, down 1.1% to 234.3p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 edged down 0.2% to 7,460.6pts yesterday after five consecutive days of gains.

Fallers included Just Eat, down 4.2% to 2,561p, SSP Group, down 3.2% to 237p, DEvro, down 3.1% to 203.5p, DS Smith, down 3.1% to 327.4p, Deliveroo, down 3% to 121.2p, THG, down 3% to 86.7p, Associated British Foods, down 2.6% to 1,696.5p and Greggs, down 2.1% to 2,460p.

The day’s risers included Bakkavor, up 3.6% to 116p, Ocado, up 3.5% to 1,124p, Virgin Wines, up 1.5% to 137.5p, Naked Wines, up 1.4% to 365p, Hilton Food Group, up 1.4% to 1,176p and Hotel Chocolat, up 1.2% to 430p.