DISCOUNT retailer Instore has suffered a double blow, announcing a fall in sales and revealing that its chief executive is to leave the company.
Instore, which has its headquarters at Leeds Road, Deighton, blamed poor weather in March and April for a 1.9% dip in like-for-like sales during the 19 weeks to July 11.
The company, which trades under the Instore and Poundstretcher names, said it was continuing to trade at a loss but was confident about its future.
Shareholders at the firm’s annual meeting were told that chief executive Peter Burdon, who was appointed in May last year, will leave the company in a year’s time.
Instore is the subject of a takeover bid by cash-and-carry tycoon Abdul Aziz Tayub.
Last week, non-executive chairman Christo Wiese and senior directors Cornus Moore and John Gnodde resigned from the board after independent directors rejected an £11.4m bid from Seaham Investments, part of Crown Crest, a company controlled by Mr Tayub.
Crown Crest has a 51.2% stake in the firm after South African investor Tradegro sold 20.4% of its 35% stake in Instore.
Shareholders now have to decide whether to accept the offer, which was dismissed as undervaluing the company.
In a statement on the latest sales figures, Instore said: “At the time of our results at the end of April, the board reported that despite the tough retail environment it remained confident of future success and of a continued advance toward profitability. This confidence was reflected in the budget approved by the board in April.
“Since that time, market conditions have continued to be very difficult for everyone in the sector and the company’s performance has been below budget.”
It said: “Management continues to maintain a tight rein on costs which has partially mitigated the sales performance.
“The company has continued to trade at a loss, although shareholders will know that the company has historically reported a loss during for the first half of the year.”
Mr Burdon, 47, joined the board in May 2007. He was previously chief executive of confectionery chain Thorntons and before that worked as trading director for Boots the Chemist.