Ousted Matalan boss spearheading turnaround
Cheap and cheerful store group Brown & Jackson is chief executive Angus Monro's big comeback opportunity.

Monro was ousted from value giant Matalan after a boardroom bust-up four years ago, despite having delivered enviable growth.

Installed at troubled Brown & Jackson in late 2002, he inherited a slimmed down and bruised business focused around the Poundstretcher chain, with a brief to bolster performance.

Today's prelims - representing the second year of a five-year turnaround programme - show that Monro's initiatives are bearing fruit. He has delivered a profit versus a loss last year, on the back of the launch of the Instore fascia, which generates 35 per cent of sales.

Brown & Jackson recently strengthened its board with the appointment as non-executives of former Kingfisher boss Sir Geoff Mulcahy and influential consultant John Richards. They were impressive hirings and it will be fascinating to see as time goes on what they bring to the Brown & Jackson party.

However, the retailer is not out of the woods yet, despite undoubted progress. A move to a new distribution centre, for instance, should improve efficiency, but its opening was also blamed for a like-for-like sales fall of 6 per cent in the eight weeks to April 23.

Monro deserves a B for his performance so far, but City analysts will want to see evidence that recovery is sustainable before becoming too bullish.