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David Ritchie stepping down as chief executive of Bovis Homes

David Ritchie, the chief executive of housebuilder Bovis Homes, is to step down after eight years in the role, weeks after warning over profits.

Earl Sibley, the group's finance director, will take up the role of interim chief executive with immediate effect as the firm begins the hunt for a permanent successor, which is expected to take several months.

In December, Bovis warned profits would take a hit following build delays in the run-up to Christmas.

Kent-based Bovis blamed "slower-than-expected build production" in December for a year-end knock to its sales rate, with completions on around 180 homes delayed into early 2017.

Bovis, which is focused on the South of England, is pencilling in pre-tax profits for 2016 of between £160 million and £170.1 million. This is down from previous City expectations of around £183 million and will mark a sharp slowdown on earnings growth seen in 2015, when bottom-line profits surged 20% to £160.1 million.

Mr Ritchie, who has been at the firm for over 18 years in total, said: "It has been a privilege to serve Bovis Homes as its chief executive over the last eight years as the Group has doubled in size and delivered record profits.

"I believe now is the right time for someone new to lead the group into its next phase of development. I have spent over 18 years working for this great company and I wish Bovis Homes every success in the future."

He will remain with the group until February 28 to assist with the transition.

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