Berghaus has announced that Richard Leedham has decided to step down as president after 22 years with the brand, leaving the business in early 2018, but he has agreed to assist in the next few months in the recruitment of a new brand director.
Pentland Brands, which owns Berghaus, credited Leedham with running a team that has turned the business around, delivering sustainable profits and re-focusing the brand.
Concentrating on priority markets, improving processes and controlling costs, last year Berghaus recorded a higher gross profit of £23.9 million (€26.9m-$31.2m) and delivered an operating profit of £0.8 million (€0.9m-$1.0m) on revenues of £54.7 million (€61.6m-$71.5m) against an operating loss of £46.2 million in the previous year.
In particular, Berghaus' turnover in the U.K. improved for the third year in a row in 2016, rising to £46.2 million (€52.0m-$60.4m) from £44.5 million in 2015.
Leedham indicated that there are some special product and marketing initiatives in the pipeline that will make a big impact, representing an exciting prospect for his successor.
Leedham was made interim president of Berghaus after the departure of Richard Cotter for the Snow + Rock chain at the beginning of 2014. A few months later, he was confirmed as president of the Berghaus and Brasher brands, which were subsequently integrated into the same operation. Leedham had been working for Berghaus since 1995, holding responsibilities in numerous areas including international business development, product management and sales.
Berghaus is part of Pentland Brands's Active Division, along with Speedo and other brands. The division has been headed up since one year ago by Chris Stephenson, former chief executive of Canterbury.