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  • Bhavesh Mistry has been chief financial officer of British Land since July 2021
  • He previously held senior roles at Whitbread, Virgin Media and Anheuser-Busch



British Land’s finance boss will stand down within the next year to take up the same role at B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher.

Bhavesh Mistry has been chief financial officer of British Land since July 2021, during which time the property development firm has shifted its portfolio from shopping centres to retail parks and urban logistics.

Prior to that, he was deputy head of finance at Tesco and held senior positions at hospitality group Whitbread, Virgin Media and Budweiser producer Anheuser-Busch.

Mistry will replace Bernard Bot, who Kingfisher said intends to retire ‘no earlier than January 2025’ in order to pursue a non-executive career.

Bot originally joined Kingfisher in October 2019 just before the Covid-19 pandemic led to the business enjoying a surge in trade as onerous restrictions on socialising led to people spending more time at home.

It further benefited from an accumulation of excess savings and many Europeans’ desire to live in larger properties.

However, trade has slowed significantly over the past three years as interest rate rises and cost-of-living pressures have squeezed consumer incomes and dampened housing market activity.

In the 12 months ending January, Kingfisher’s profits slumped by around a quarter to £568.1million, partly due to lower sales across France and Poland.

The FTSE 100 company was also impacted by poor weather, weaker demand for core and ‘big-ticket’ items, and higher salary and energy costs.

Nonetheless, revenues remained far above pre-pandemic levels and could expand healthily in the coming year if the Bank of England cuts interest rates, as analysts widely expect.

Thierry Garnier, chief executive of Kingfisher, said Bot ‘helped us to become a more agile and productive company, reducing costs and unlocking efficiencies, while investing for growth and delivering attractive shareholder returns.’

Regarding Mistry, Garnier said he has ‘a wealth of finance and retail experience, combined with a strategic mindset and an excellent track record of delivery.’

Mistry’s departure from British Land comes just after the group agreed to sell its 50 per cent stake in Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre to Norway’s sovereign wealth fund for £360million.

The FTSE 250 firm said proceeds from the sale will go towards ‘general corporate purposes,’ such as investment in retail parks.

British Land said Mistry has a 12-month notice period, and a date for his departure will be agreed upon in due course while the search for a new CFO takes place.

Mistry remarked: ‘I am very pleased to be joining a dynamic international retailer with a clear strategy and compelling growth opportunities.

‘The pace of change at Kingfisher in recent years has been impressive, and I am looking forward to working with its talented teams to build on this momentum and make the most of the many opportunities ahead.’

Kingfisher shares were 0.8 per cent higher at 250.6p on Monday morning, while British Land shares were 0.3 per cent down at 425.4p.

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