Belfast Telegraph

Derek Mapp to replace Roger Matthews as Mitie chairman

Troubled outsourcer Mitie has recruited a new chairman in its latest step to revive the company following a string of profit warnings.

Derek Mapp takes over from Roger Matthews, who will relinquish control at the annual general meeting (AGM) on July 26, after 11 years with the group.

The appointment comes days after the firm revealed plans to cut costs by slashing 160 jobs and said it would take a hit of up to £50 million following an accounting review by auditor KPMG.

Mr Mapp, a non-executive chairman of Informa and PR company Huntsworth, said he will play a key role in shoring up the firm's performance.

He said: "Mitie is a company that I have been aware of for many years and I have admired its energy and ambition to grow.

"I understand the challenges that the business has faced recently and I believe that the right steps are being taken to restore balance sheet strength and achieve future success.

"I am looking forward to joining the board and getting directly involved in the turnaround."

The group has been refreshing its top-level team since the end of last year, appointing chief executive Phil Bentley in December and chief financial officer Sandip Mahajan in February.

Mr Bentley said: "Roger has been very supportive of me during my first few months at Mitie and I wish him well for the future.

"In Derek, we have a proven chairman with extensive operational experience to help transform Mitie as we take the journey 'Beyond the Connected Workspace'."

Mitie, which offers services from catering and cleaning to waste management and pest control, issued its third profit warning in January as it grappled with delayed contracts and a lacklustre performance from its cleaning division.

The firm offloaded its social care businesses in March for the nominal sum of £2 to private equity outfit Apposite Capital.

It also agreed to pay Apposite a £9.45 million dowry to take the Enara and Complete Care brands.

The move was followed by the announcement earlier this month that Mitie was expecting a writedown of £40 million to £50 million after KPMG uncovered accounting practices that were ''less conservative, albeit still justifiable, than others in the market''.

However, it said the review also found a ''number of material errors'' which mean 2015/16 accounts may be inaccurate and could end up boosting 2016/17 results by between £10 million and £20 million.

Shares in Mitie, which have fallen 12% since last year, rose by 0.7% in morning trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.