Horticultural products specialist William Sinclair (SNCL:AIM) slumps 29% to 34.5p after turfing out CEO Peter Rush and issuing another earnings alert. Bombed-out Sinclair's latest in a string of profit warnings follows a poor start to the spring selling season.
Today's big news from the growing media supplier is the departure of Rush after two testing years in charge of the plant foods, composts and weedkiller seller behind brands including J. Arthur Bower's, Deadfast and Growing Success. He has been replaced by tried and tested troubleshooter Stuart Burgin, drafted in as Interim chief executive.
Boasting extensive experience in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector and a member of the Institute for Turnaround, Burgin will be supported by another company doctor, new non-executive director, Hugh Cawley, whose CV includes the turnarounds of Dawson Holdings and office2office.
William Sinclair's update also reveals a slow start to the year to September, now expected to be 'materially worse' than last year's dire outcome. Lincoln-based Sinclair, a weather-sensitive business selling to major retailers and independent garden centres, has witnessed a slow start to its peak selling season, noting disappointing sales to retail and professional growers and margin pressure.
Compounding the problem is a slower-than-anticipated ramp up of production at a new £25 million supersite at Ellesmere Port. Here, William Sinclair produces the revolutionary new peat substitute 'SuperFyba', which will gradually replace peat in all retail growing media by the Government's 2020 deadline.
Following its latest warning, William Sinclair has launched a turnaround drive which Burgin will lead. An update on the transformation plan should be announced before the end of April, as Sinclair seeks to return to sustained profitability.