Mark Selway, chief executive of IMI PLC
Mark Selway, outgoing chief executive of IMI

The chief executive of engineering group IMI is bowing out after five years in the job.

Mark Selway will step down in May, to be succeeded by Roy Twite, an internal candidate.

On Friday, the FTSE 250 supplier of industrial valves reported an 18 per cent rise in pre-tax profits in 2018 to £213m from £180m the year before.

Mr Selway, who will be moving back to his native Australia, said that the company had done well in “quite difficult market environments” and that his successor “knows the business inside and out and has all the skills necessary to take [it] into the next period”.

Shares in IMI rose 5 per cent in early trading despite the group warning of lower revenues in the first half of this year, compared with the same period in 2018. That reflected a slowing of demand in its industrial automation division.

The supplier to oil and gas companies and power stations said the full-year results would benefit from a restructuring and higher profits in the second half.

Mr Selway maintained that Brexit would have a minimal impact on the business, emphasising that only 6 per cent of revenue last year was UK-based. Despite this, he said IMI had built up a £3.4m inventory “to protect customers in the event there is a no deal [Brexit]”.

Mr Twite is head of IMI Critical Engineering, one of the company’s three main divisions.

Robert Smith, IMI chairman, said Mr Twite was a “strong and experienced successor who has been pivotal to the group’s continued success”.

Revenues at IMI rose 9 per cent in 2018 to £1.9bn.

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