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Folkestone firm Saga's chief executive Lance Batchelor to step down in January 2020

The boss of one of the county's biggest employers has confirmed he is to step down.

Lance Batchelor will retire as group chief executive officer at over-50s travel and insurance giants Saga in January 2020.

He has been with the firm for six years.

Saga chief executive Lance Batchelor will retire in January Picture: Paul Amos
Saga chief executive Lance Batchelor will retire in January Picture: Paul Amos

His departure comes just two months after the company's share price plunged to its lowest level after its latest financial figures were revealed.

The company, which is based in Folkestone and has offices in Thanet, revealed a 5.4% fall in underlying profits to £180million - and forecast profits to fall for the current year to between £105m and £120m.

Patrick O'Sullivan, chairman of Saga, said the search for a replacement is already under way.

Saga's head office is in Folkestone
Saga's head office is in Folkestone

He added: "Lance has led Saga with a resolute focus on reinvestment and rebuilding a truly customer centric organisation. On behalf of the board, we are grateful for his contribution and wish him every success for the future.

"In April, we announced the introduction of 'three-year fixed price' home and motor insurance products and on July 5 we will launch our new cruise ship, the Spirit of Discovery.

"Early progress in insurance broking is encouraging and we will provide a more detailed update at the AGM next week.

Lance Batchelor has been with the company for six years
Lance Batchelor has been with the company for six years

"These developments demonstrate that Saga is a strong business with an attractive future."

Lance Batchelor said: "It has been a huge privilege to lead Saga. I am very proud of the journey we have taken to modernise the business and refocus it on customers. We now have enhanced products and the infrastructure needed for a sustainable and healthy future. Over the coming months, I look forward to continuing to execute the new strategy in our insurance business and seeing the launch of Spirit of Discovery in a few weeks."

Read more: For the latest business news for Kent

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