Enodis, the catering equipment manufacturer, formerly known as Berisford axed its chief executive as it issued its third profit warning in four months and is now looking vulnerable to a bid.

Chief financial officer Andrew Allner will head the restructuring team while a successor for ousted chief executive David Williams is sought.

Plummeting demand from restaurant chains in the United States has hit profits.

It said operating profits for the half-year to March 31 from the food equipment division were expected to drop by up to 38% to £32m. Building and consumer products profits would be slightly lower than last year's £10.2m.

The board said the outlook for the full year remained uncertain.

The company will axe 900 jobs in the United States and shut factories at a cost of £30m, to staunch the haemorrhaging.

Analysts slashed their estimates for the full-year to about £60m. The company had forecast pre-tax profits of up to £120m as recently as three months ago.

The shares plunged 34% to 102p on the news.