Evans Cycles in a spin as it ditches chief executive after just 17 months

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Evans Cycles has ditched its chief executive Andy King after less than two years in the saddle.

Mr King, who joined Evans Cycles in November 2016 amid a slump in profits, has now been ousted and will be replaced by Alan Fort as interim chief executive.

Mr King was hired to improve the pace of growth at Evans Cycles. However, the Press Association understands he has now been let go after failing to meet business targets.

The company said: “After leading Evans Cycles for the last 17 months, the decision has been made that Andy King will step down as CEO of the business.”

But it added that the firm will continue to make “good progress” as its seeks a new chief executive under the stewardship of chairman Mike Tomkins.

Mr King’s predecessor Nick Wilkinson was similarly dumped after presiding over a 45% fall in operating profit less than two years ago.

Accounts filed at Companies House show that operating profit fell to £2.2 million in the year ended October 29 2016, down from £4 million the year before.

Evans Cycles is owned by private equity firm ECI Partners, which bought the chain for £80 million in 2015.

In Evans Cycles’ 2016 accounts, finance chief Steve Trowbridge wrote that Mr King would bring “strong leadership experience” to the business.

However, the business is now looking for a new boss after just 17 months.

Evans Cycles said in a statement: “The board and the business’ main shareholder, ECI Partners, remain excited by the many opportunities that exist for the business to further consolidate its unique position as the leading independent specialist bike retailer and are focused on further enhancing Evans’ multi-channel proposition to cyclists across the UK.”

Mr Fort has substantial experience in retail restructuring, having worked as chief restructuring officer for Jessops for four years before moving to take on a similar job at bed retailer Dreams.

Evans Cycles is hoping to pick up sales in the coming months, after a spate of bad weather in the first quarter of the year. The period before summer is also the peak trading season for bike retailers.

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