Matalan H1 profit up 13 pct, CEO steps down

LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - British budget fashion retailer Matalan reported a 13 percent rise in first-half profit and said chief executive Alistair McGeorge was stepping back to a non-executive role after four years at the helm.

Matalan
Matalan.com

The company, which abandoned a sale process in February and raised fresh debt capital in March, said on Wednesday finance director Paul Gilbert had become acting chief exective.

Operating profit before one-off items reached 60.5 million pounds ($95.1 million) in the 26 weeks to Aug. 28.

Matalan, which is owned by the family of founder John Hargreaves and trades from 205 stores across Britain, said sales from shops open at least a year rose 0.5 percent.

That marks a slowdown from the 3 percent growth reported after the first quarter.

However, the group said it was up against a very strong sales performance in the same period last year.

"In common with other major retailers we believe that trading conditions are likely to remain very challenging as long as the outlook for the UK economy and for consumer's disposable income remains uncertain," it said.

(Reporting by Mark Potter)

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