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Darren Blackhurst leaves Matalan

Matalan has parted company with chief executive Darren Blackhurst following a 7% fall in profits.

Blackhurst who joined the discount fashion chain less than two years ago, is leaving to pursue “other opportunities” as sales at Matalan fell to £258.6m from £278.6m for the 13 weeks ending May 25, 2013.

The son of Matalan founder John Hargreaves has taken charge of the family business, taking up the position as managing director with immediate effect.

In a statement, the company, which is set to move its headquarters to Knowsley, said: “We thank Darren for his contribution, wishing him good luck for the future.”

Hargreaves said: “I’m very enthusiastic for the future of the company and look forward to working with everyone to deliver the opportunities that exist going forward.”

Stephen Hill has also been named Matalan’s chief financial officer.

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