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Eddie Stobart chief executive Alex Laffey has stepped down and the company has suspended trading of  its shares, warning that profits are “likely to be significantly lower than anticipated”.

Laffey has been replaced by Sébastien Desreumaux, who was previously chief executive of iForce and head of contract logistics. He is expected to be appointed to the board in due course.

Sébastien Desreumaux

In a statement, the group said that following a review carried out in conjunction with its auditors in relation to the interim results, “the Board is applying a more prudent approach to revenue recognition, re-assessing the recoverability of certain receivables, as well as considering the appropriateness of certain provisions.

“While revenue expectations for the first half are broadly in line with previous guidance, the full impact of these items on Adjusted EBIT is unclear, but it is likely to be significantly lower than anticipated at the time of the half year trading update on 9 July 2019. As a result, the board also intends to review the group’s current dividend policy.”

Alex Laffey

Trading in the ESL shares on the AIM market has been suspended and publication of the group’s interim results, due on 29th August, has been delayed. This is now expected in early September.

Desreumaux joined Eddie Stobart in 2018. He was previously chief executive of JF Hillebrand in the UK. Before than he held senior positions with Norbert Dentressangle (now part of XPO Logistics).

The group said that during his time at Eddie Stobart, he had driven the integration of iForce’s e-commerce expertise with the wider capabilities of the group and, since taking on a wider role as head of contract logistics and warehousing, had achieved significant productivity improvements in this business segment.