Allan Leighton becomes Matalan chairman

Budget fashion chain Matalan has appointed Allan Leighton, the former chief executive of Asda, as its new chairman.

Leighton will replace John Mills who is to become deputy chairman after holding the position of chairman for six years.

As the holder of several non-executive positions including the chairmanship of Office and Pandora, Leighton is understood to have been appointed for his knowledge of the value sector and to help move forward Matalan’s growth plans.

Commenting on the appointment Mills said: “I am delighted to welcome Allan to the Board. He brings a wealth of retail experience particularly in the value sector, which will support Matalan’s ongoing development.”

Leighton added: “I am very excited about this opportunity; Matalan is a great company with a strong brand and management team.

“I look forward to working with the team to build on its fantastic reputation as a family retailer.”

Matalan, which operates 217 UK stores, has also announced that its total sales rose to £269.2 million from £258.5 million in its second quarter. In the 13 week period to 25 August, EBITDA increased by 27.2% to £17.3 million.

Chief executive Darren Blackhurst said: “We continue to deliver outstanding value for our customers and have navigated our way through a challenging quarter, achieving robust results in a tough, competitive market.

“Whilst we remain cautious in our outlook, with the launch of our exciting new collections for Autumn/Winter and our continued focus on quality, service and value, we are confident we are well placed to delight customers in the months ahead.”

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