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Two more quit HR Owen's board

Nick Mason and Tony Smith have resigned from the board of HR Owen as its strategic review continues.

The two non-executive directors' departure means almost half of the board have left in the last two weeks as executive chairman Jon Walden continues with the group's strategic review.

Chief executive Nick Lancaster went first, joined a week later by senior non-executive director Ramon Pajares.

Walden told investors at yesterday's AGM: "Re-shaping our board is an essential ingredient of moving the company into the next phase of its development and this will be progressed with the appointment of a new chief executive in due course."

Debbie Hewitt, former MD of RAC and a non-executive director of HR Owen since last year, has been made senior non-executive director.

Walden said the group's trading performance had improved this year, with strong new car sales and better margins. Used car sales and aftersales are both also ahead of internal expectations.

Nevertheless, the uncertain outlook for the car markets and fragile economic recovery make the board cautious about immediate future growth prospects, said Walden, but the company intends in the medium to long term to have a strategy for resilient revenue and profit streams.

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