The ousted chief executive of the beleaguered UK cider group, HP Bulmer, Mike Hughes, has said he will sue the company for wrongful dismissal unless he receives a satisfactory settlement.

Hughes, who was in charge of the company as the extent of its problems became clear last autumn, with five profit warnings and the revelation of a £3.3m hole in its accounts, lost his job in September.

Having joined Bulmer in 1998, with the aim of turning it into a £1bn company, Hughes was on a two-year contract and his full compensation package could be as much as £1m.

Bulmer has just announced the appointment of Richard Pennycook as its finance director, succeeding Alan Flockhart who also lost his job last year and is, like Hughes, seeking damages.

Bulmer said Pennycook had experience in "turnaround situations". He was formerly chief executive and finance director of Welcome Break, the privately-owned motorway service station specialist and has also worked for retailer, Laura Ashley, and the pub operator, JD Wetherspoon.