David Ritchie will depart next month after 18 years at the housebuilder

Bovis Homes chief executive David Ritchie has announced his intention to step down from the firm 12 days after the housebuilder issued an unscheduled warning on profit over the festive period.

In a statement to investors, Bovis Homes said Ritchie will leave at the end of next month. Finance director Earl Sibley has been appointed interim chief executive.

Last month Bovis Homes told investors a slowdown in sales and completions in December would result in lower than expected profit for 2016, surprising analysts.

There was no reference to last month’s trading statement in today’s announcement on Ritchie’s departure.

Ritchie said: “It has been a privilege to serve Bovis Homes as its chief executive over the last eight years as the group has doubled in size and delivered record profits.

“I believe now is the right time for someone new to lead the group into its next phase of development. I have spent over 18 years working for this great company and I wish Bovis Homes every success in the future.”

Chairman Ian Tyler said: “During his time as chief executive, the group successfully navigated the housing market recession and has grown rapidly since 2009.

“David was instrumental in preparing the group for growth and then implementing the new strategy. We wish David the very best for the future and every success in his next venture.”