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Grafton chief to bow out

CHAIRMAN of building company Grafton Group Michael Chadwick is preparing to step down from his role in the summer.

Mr Chadwick (59, above) helped to steer the company, which owns chains such as Woodies DIY and Atlantic Homecare, through a tough recessionary period by slashing costs and reducing the workforce.

Mr Chadwick, who joined the building materials group in 1975 and has been executive chairman since 1985, will remain as non-executive chairman at Grafton.

The chief operating officer at Grafton, Leo Martin, also confirmed that he'll retire at the end of the year.

The group said that Gavin Slark (45), who was chief executive of UK-based plumbing and heating merchants firm BSS when it was acquired by rival Travis Perkins last year in a £558m (€654m) deal, will join Grafton as chief executive designate on April 1 and will assume his full position on July 1.

Investors welcomed the announcement of Mr Slark's appointment yesterday, with shares in Grafton rising 3.6pc to close at €3.55.