Dr Michael West will retire in July after 45 years with the groundworks firm

The chairman of international groundworks specialist Keller is to step down from the role, the company has announced.

The announcement was made in an interim management statement, in which the company reported that while business had stabilised in recent months, the outlook for 2009 is still flat.

Dr Michael West is to step down in July as chairman of the Keller Group, a position he has held since 1995. He had previously been chief executive for 13 years, having joined Keller in 1964. He will be succeeded by Roy Franklin, a non-executive director.

Keller plant
Keller reported "further downsizing” in the home market but business in Europe holding up “fairly well"

West's retirement was announced as the company updated the market on its progress in 2009 so far. The markets in America, the Middle East and the UK continue to impact on margins, with “further downsizing” occurring in the home market as UK housing remains “in the doldrums”.

However, business in Europe has held up “fairly well”, with the Australian division performing “well in the year to date”.

The company will release its interim results on 31 July.