The firm also said it expects to beat forecasts for the year

Ian Lawson

Severfield has reported that chief executive Ian Lawson is on a temporary leave of absence due to physical ill health.

The structural steel specialist’s finance director Alan Dunsmore is to assume the chief executive role on an interim basis working with the company’s non-executive chairman John Dodds, who is to become as executive chairman, also on a temporary basis.

The firm’s group financial controller Adam Semple is to assume Dunsmore’s responsibilities as finance director.

Dodds said: “I will work closely with Alan and the wider team during this time and in the meanwhile, on behalf of the board and everyone at Severfield, I would like to wish Ian a full and speedy recovery”.

The news of the temporary change in leadership came as Severfield revealed in a trading update that it expects to end its ffinancial year ahead of expectations after “strong” trading in the second half of its financial year.

Severfield said its UK order book remained solid at £267m and in line with the company’s plan to double profits by 2020, but added that it expected the mix of commercial projects in its pipeline to “be at more normal levels” over the coming months.

The firm’s Indian business JSW Severfield Structures Ltd (India) reported that one commercial project in Kerala which it won in December last year has been cancelled due to a change in the main contractor on the scheme, but the order book remained stable at £40m and its debt repayment programme is on still on track.

Severfield added that India’s economy is continuing to show signs of improvement following the government’s demonetisation programme.