6 April 2010
The Board of Northgate plc today announces further management changes that reflect the progress that has been made by the Group since the Rights Issue and Refinancing announced in July 2009.
Last summer, in the light of the trading conditions at the time and the Group's debt refinancing and the Placing and Rights Issue that were then taking place, Steve Smith agreed to stay on as Chief Executive beyond his original retirement date of 1 August 2009 until 30 June 2010. However, it has been agreed that, rather than waiting until June, he will stand down from the Board now, after 23 years service to the Group, in order to build a portfolio of non executive positions.
Paul Tallentire, Deputy Chief Executive, will continue to manage day to day operations of the Group and he is actively leading a fundamental reorganisation of the UK business, including the implementation of new and improved IT systems. He and Bob Contreras, Group Finance Director, will report directly to Bob Mackenzie, the Chairman.
The Board released an Interim Management Statement on 17 March 2010 in which it commented on improved utilisation rates in both the UK and Spain and forecast net debt at constant exchange rates of below GBP650m at 30 April 2010, which would be a reduction of over GBP236m in net debt since April 2009. We also stated that, although the need to be cautious remained, we expected the outcome for the full year to be in line with management's expectations at the time of the interim results announcement in December 2009. These views remain unchanged today.
Bob Mackenzie, Chairman of Northgate, said:
"Steve Smith has been an integral part of the Group for over two decades, including ten years as Chief Executive, and the Board is very grateful for the commitment and leadership he has shown throughout his tenure. During his career at Northgate, the rental fleet has increased from 2500 vehicles, located mainly in the North East of England, to approximately 109,000, spread across the UK and Spain. As previously announced, Steve had originally planned to retire from the Chief Executive role in August last year and we are very grateful to him for agreeing to stay on over a challenging period for Northgate. Steve has now agreed to bring forward his planned departure date in the light of the progress that has since been made by the Group."
~ Ends ~
For further information, please contact:
Bob Mackenzie, Chairman
020 7357 9477
Notes to Editors:
Northgate plc rents light commercial vehicles and sells a range of fleet products to businesses via a network of hire companies in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Spain. Its NORFLEXÒ product gives businesses access to a flexible method to acquire as many commercial vehicles as they need, without tying up capital or entering a fixed term contract.
Further information regarding Northgate plc can be found on the Company's website: http://www.northgateplc.com