The negative reaction to Plumb’s departure is understandable given his near eight-year tenure witnessed significant appreciation in the share price and profit.
He took the helm in February 2009, less than two years after the group’s IPO and with the stock in the doldrums, down significantly on its 170p issue price at less than 60p. Up nearly five-fold since then, revenue has increased from £178.8 million in 2008 to £281.7 million in 2015 and a previously loss-making concern is now profitable.
He benefitted from a recovery in the UK’s economic fortunes post the financial crisis. His successor may not be so lucky as the country looks set on some indicators to be headed for a Brexit-induced recession.
First half results are solid with pre-tax profit up nearly a quarter year-on-year and the dividend hiked by 8% to 2.75p.
Plumb insists saving money becomes more relevant in ‘uncertain times’ but the company is often seen as a proxy for the wider economy and revenue declined 24% in 2009. The company is also battling increasing competition.