Move of the Week: Shop Direct CFO can mark start of new era

Ben Fletcher

Ben Fletcher would be well advised to make the most of his Christmas break. When Shop Direct’s new group chief financial officer joins in January he faces being thrust into a business still suffering the effects of a PPI-induced financial shock that has escalated to the point where it pushed ...

This week it was reported that Shop Direct’s owners the Barclay family are on the verge of striking a £150m refinancing deal to shore up the online retailer’s balance sheet, following a warning in its recent accounts that there was “material uncertainty” surrounding its ability to operate as a going concern.

It’s hardly the news you want to hear as you settle into the CFO’s chair, but a more positive spin is that Fletcher is joining Shop Direct at a time when the worst of the damage has been done. The deadline for making PPI claims has closed and the underlying business remains in decent shape. Group revenue edged up to just short of £2bn in the latest financial year with underlying profitability also showing a marginal increase.

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