ZURICH Feb 20 Swiss construction materials group Arbonia Forster announced the surprise departure of its chief executive and a net loss for 2013, sending its shares down almost 10 percent on Thursday.
Arbonia Forster, which makes products such as glass for windows and doors for buildings, posted a net loss of about 42 million Swiss francs ($47 million) for 2013, hit by combined impairment charges of 73 million francs for a proposed sale of STI Group and last year's disposal of AFG Kitchens.
Shares in the company were down 9.7 percent at 28.80 Swiss francs by 0952 GMT, underperforming a Swiss market down 0.7 percent.
"Although the writedown at STI and the planned disposal were expected, and hence no big surprise, the departure of the CEO is discomforting and adds to the general uncertainty surrounding the stock," Vontobel analyst Patrick Rafaisz said in a note, confirming his 'hold' rating on the stock.
Arbonia Forster said that the board had decided to hive off STI Group, which makes cardboard packaging for products such as Toblerone chocolate and displays for supermarket shelve, after suffering a 64 million franc depreciation on its real estate and facilities.
It said the decision completes the streamlining of its portfolio over recent years.
The company said that CEO Daniel Frutig had decided to step down immediately and that Chairman Rudolf Graf would take over as acting chief executive. It did not give a reason for Frutig's departure. ($1 = 0.8878 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by David Goodman)