Mike Ashley to step down as chief executive of Frasers Group
Frasers Group has confirmed that Mike Ashley is to step down as chief executive in its new financial year and hand the reins to Michael Murray who is currently “head of elevation”.
In a statement, the owner of brands such as Sports Direct, House of Fraser and Flannels, said it is proposing that Murray assumes the role in May 2022 and that Ashley remains on the board as an executive director.
The announcement comes as Frasers Group posted its results for the year ending 25 April. During the period, group revenue declined by 8.4% to £3,6 billion and pre-tax profit fell by 94.1% to £8.5 million.
The group said UK sports retail revenue and European retail revenue decreased by 10.7% and 11.8% respectively, largely due the temporary store closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, premium lifestyle revenue increased by 1.9% following growth in its online business and new store openings.
During the year, Frasers Group decreased its operating costs by 15.7%, which was mainly driven by savings in store costs during Covid-19 lockdowns, Government support schemes and business rates relief, particularly in House of Fraser.
Looking ahead, Frasers Group chairman David Daly said: “The Covid-19 pandemic continues to create uncertainty and we must be prepared for more lockdowns in the future. There must be concerns about the stability of some retailers as Government support schemes come to an end, yet there still seems to be very little tangible long-term action being taken by the Government to save the high street.
“Notwithstanding the probable risk of further lockdowns, which are considered and do impact our property accounting estimates, Frasers Group is confident in our long-term strategy which we believe will help us to get through this difficult period.”
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