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Former Halfords FD takes the helm at Dunelm

Homewares retailer Dunelm posted a five percent increase in first-half pre-tax profits and said it is well positioned for continued growth despite tough trading conditions.

In the half year to 1 January, pre-tax profits climbed to £48.5m. New CEO Nick Wharton, formerly Halford’s finance director and a non-executive director at Dunelm, said the company will continue to expand through developing the businesses store portfolio.

“The addition of a more ambitious, multi-channel dimension represents a further exciting and achievable opportunity to continue the success of recent years,” Wharton said.

Financial Director reported on Wharton’s appointment in September 2010, when the move was branded “unusual” by observers as few companies promote their non-executives to executive roles.

Wharton has been a non-executive director at Dunelm since August 2009, also sitting on its remuneration nominations committee and serving as chairman of its audit committee.

“I wonder if Nick’s non-exec role was always a mutual ‘get to know each other’ with this in mind,” one FD who is a non-executive director for a number of listed companies told Financial Director at the time of the announcement. “I cannot think of any examples of non-executives becoming CEOs other than in distress situations.”


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