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Hobbs sales hit £100m as Nick Samuel departs chain

Hobbs saw sales creep over the £100 million mark but EBITDA fall back 11.7% to £18.8 million for the 53 weeks ended January 31. Separately Nick Samuel has stepped down from the board.

Hobbs’ sales rose 3.6% to £101.6m for the 53 week period. This was against the 52 week period ended January 26 2008, when sales were £98 million.

Nick Samuel, who was chief executive of Hobbs until last summer, will relinquish his role as non-executive director as part of a wider boardroom shake up. Nicky Dulieu has been promoted from managing director to chief executive of Hobbs, while Tony Campbell has become non-executive chairman. He was made executive chairman last June when Samuel stepped down from the chief executive role.

“The changes to the management team have brought a new level of skill and talent to the business, which will drive a real point of differentiation to our customers in 2009. We are particularly excited by our product ranges under our new creative director, which can be seen in our spring/summer collections, with further exciting developments to follow later in the year.”

Nicky Dulieu, chief executive, Hobbs

Mike Spearing has been promoted to business development director from his position as retail director.

Dulieu said: “Our performance last year clearly demonstrates the strength of the Hobbs brand and the loyalty of our customer base.”

“The business is financially strong with low debt levels and strong cash generation, making it well placed to weather the current challenging economic conditions. The changes to the management team have brought a new level of skill and talent to the business, which will drive a real point of differentiation to our customers in 2009. We are particularly excited by our product ranges under our new creative director, which can be seen in our spring/summer collections, with further exciting developments to follow later in the year.”

Campbell added: “I am delighted that we have a strong management team in place to successfully drive forward Hobbs in these challenging times and we are very pleased to announce the appointment of Nicky Dulie as chief executive officer. 3i, as the major shareholder, remains committed to Hobbs and we believe that the business is well placed for long term growth.”

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