Shares in Micro Focus International declined by more than a quarter after it admitted revenue growth for its 2011 financial year would be weaker than expected in the low single digits.
An interim management statement from the company, which revealed demand was flat in the first quarter ending 31 July 2010, pinned the blame on delays in a number of significant deals beyond the end of the first quarter and continued weakness in higher volume low value sales across its three lines of business: COBOL development, modernisation and migration and AMQ.
Micro Focus also announced three senior appointments: replacing president of sales Marc Andrews (who is leaving at the end of this month) with Malcolm Collins, previously at NCR, bringing in Adrian Saunders from COLT as vice president of professional services and Jim Cassidy as chief marketing officer from Stepstone. The company is still looking for a CFO but said the search had "produced good candidates and discussions continue".
The company claimed positive early indications from initiatives to improve sales performance, including strengthening its telesales channel and improving its professional services proposition to support modernisation and migration sales. "These are now being accelerated to drive improvements during the remainder of the 2011 financial year," the statement continued.