City briefs: DFS; Pressure Technologies; and more

Furniture retailer DFS says Mike Schmidt, chief financial officer, has given the Board notice that after eight years with the company – the last three years as CFO – he has decided to step down.

He is leaving to assume the role of CFO at B&M European Value Retail SA.

Schmidt will remain with Doncaster-based DFS as CFO to oversee the year-end results process and to ensure an orderly transition. A search for a successor will start immediately.

DFS has also today confirmed it now expects its profitability to be in the upper half of the range for underlying profit before tax and brand amortisation previously indicated – £57m-£62m.

Ian Durant, chairman, said: “I would like to thank Mike for his leadership as CFO. He has helped to navigate DFS through a period of significant challenge, including the impact of COVID-19, and leaves a resilient business well placed to grow  in the UK.”

Tim Stacey, CEO, said: “Mike has been instrumental in the growth of our company and supporting the Board through the external challenges we have faced over the last few years. We all wish him every success for the future.”

Schmidt added: “I am very proud of the business DFS has become. In stepping down after eight years with the company I know DFS is in a strong position. It is the right time for me to pursue a new challenge.”

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Specialist engineering group, Pressure Technologies, has completed a sale and leaseback of its freehold property occupied by Roota Engineering in Rotherham with Victoria Court Mews Limited. 

The gross sale proceeds are £1.65m in cash and the company has a 15-year lease for the property at an initial rent of £90,000 per annum, subject to three-yearly rent reviews.

The proceeds will be used to reduce the Sheffield-based company’s banking facilities.

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Security and surveillance technology business, Synectics, says David Bedford, finance director and member of the Board, has resigned and been replaced by Amanda Larnder with immediate effect.

Larnder holds a degree in International Business and Modern Languages from Aston University and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, having qualified with Ernst & Young in 2006.

Following management roles specialising in listed companies within Ernst & Young and Deloitte, she first joined Sheffield-based Synectics in 2012 and was financial controller from 2015 until 2019.

She was acting finance director during 2019 prior to the relocation of Synectics’ head office from the Midlands to Sheffield.

Since leaving the company, Larnder worked alongside leadership teams of both listed and non-listed businesses, in particular, supporting the sale of an AIM quoted business and working on the preparation of an initial public offering.

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