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WH Ireland shares slump 10% on latest profit warning

WH Ireland shares slump 10% on latest profit warning

WH Ireland's shares have fallen by nearly 10% after the company warned that it faces higher-than-anticipated one-off costs as it looks to move on to a new back office platform and revamp the business.

Its shares were down 9.72%, or 7p, and trading at 65p at 10:38 a.m. Their value has now slumped by 57.4% from their 12-month peak of 152.5p, seen in last February. 

In a brief trading update released this morning, the company said that despite the one-off costs and challenging environment, it has a decent pipeline of business.

The firm said: ‘As has already been reported by a number of our peers, market conditions continue to be challenging, affecting both divisions of the company. In addition, exceptional costs for the financial year ended 31 March 2019 are anticipated to be higher than originally expected following a number of significant one off expenses as we continue with our transformation strategy.

‘However, despite these challenges, the company has a strong pipeline of new business and the board remains optimistic for the future.’  

The near-10% share price slump echoes a similar fall seen in November, when the group reported that restructuring costs were continuing to weigh on the business, pushing down profits.

That was the latest in a string of profit warnings last year, which led the firm to raise capital twice through stock market placings. The latter raising saw M&G Recovery fund manager Tom Dobell take a 12% stake in the business.

In the announcement, the company also said that as part of its transformation process it has hired Philip Tansey as finance director. He was previously chief financial officer at CEO Phillip Wale’s old firm, Panmure Gordon. He also had stints at BGC Partners, Deutsche Bank, Salomon Brothers and BDO Stoy Hayward.

At the same time, WH Ireland said that non-executive director Jonathan Carey is to step down from the board, which he has sat on since 2016. Carey said he will leave when a replacement is found sometime after the end of March.

The further boardroom changes follow the recruitment of former Brewin Dolphin wealth boss Stephen Ford to head its private client division

Wale (pictured) added: ‘We are delighted that Philip Tansey will be joining us as a director of the company, subject only to FCA approval. Philip brings a wealth of experience that will be valuable to WH Ireland as we continue on the path towards growth and profitability. At the same time, the board thanks Jonathan Carey for his excellent contribution to the company and wishes him well for the future.’ 

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