Mike Ashley set to hand over reins of Frasers to future son-in-law


Frasers said it was in discussions about handing over the UK retail group’s chief executive role to Michael Murray, the prospective son-in-law of founder Mike Ashley.

Murray will probably take over the course of the current financial year, Frasers said on Thursday. “A reward and remuneration package is now under consideration on the assumption Michael Murray will assume the CEO role,” it added.

Ashley, who founded the group in 1982, does not take a salary and the group has no formal long-term incentive plans in place.

The group added that “should Michael Murray assume the CEO role”, Ashley would step down but remain on the board as an executive director.

The statement came alongside full-year earnings that showed underlying profits breezing past analysts’ forecasts, with the group’s preferred “underlying ebitda” measure rising 29 per cent to £390m.

But the group cautioned that it could offer no guidance for the current year and warned, not for the first time, that more House of Fraser stores could close.

“Frasers considers it cannot currently confirm with enough material accuracy what the outcome for FY22 will look like,” it said.

Reported pre-tax profit dropped to £8.5m after the group took over £300m of impairment charges against its stores.

Revenue fell in all divisions bar premium lifestyle, which includes the upmarket Flannels business, but costs were tightly controlled. Investment income came to £103m, much of it related to options in Germany luxury group Hugo Boss.

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