Butterwick steps down as chief executive officer at Bonmarché to join Karen Millen

Bonmarché Holdings today announces that Beth Butterwick, chief executive, will step down after four years with the company to join Karen Millen as chief executive. Butterwick will remain with Bonmarché until her successor is appointed to ensure a smooth transition.

The board said it is conducting a comprehensive search for the company’s next chief executive and a further announcement will be made in due course.

John Coleman, chairman, said: “On behalf of the board, and all our colleagues at Bonmarché, we thank Beth for her exceptional contribution over the past four years. She has led the business through a transformative period, through the acquisition by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners in 2012, the IPO on AIM in 2013, and most recently the company’s transition to the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market as one of the UK’s largest women’s value retailers.

“Beth has imbued Bonmarché with a sense of energy and purpose, and today the business is well-placed for long-term success, with a robust balance sheet, strong management, and a carefully formulated growth strategy. We wish her all the very best for the future.”

Butterwick said: “It has been a great privilege to lead this unique company. I would like to offer my sincere thanks for the valued support from customers, colleagues, suppliers and shareholders, throughout my time with Bonmarché.”

In the company’s interim results report published on 23 November, the board stated that, provided trading conditions normalised for the remainder of the financial year, its expectations for the full year would remain unchanged.

Trading conditions during December, particularly since Black Friday on 27 November, have been very challenging, and have not normalised, it said. The board’s view is that these conditions are likely to continue for the remainder of the winter season and it has therefore revised its profit expectations for the current financial year. Given the ongoing volatility of trading conditions, the board considers it likely profit before tax will be within the range of £10.5m to £12.0m.

The company will issue its post-Christmas trading update on 15 January 2016.