Micro Focus misses forecasts at end of disappointing year


Micro Focus misses forecasts at end of disappointing year

Alex Scroxton

Kevin Loosemore, the executive chairman of embattled UK software player Micro Focus, has been speaking candidly about the firm's recent troubles at the end of its financial year.

Loosemore, who took over at the helm in April following the sudden departure of former CEO Nigel Clifford, said: "This has been a disappointing year for Micro Focus. The reported results are significantly below management's expectations at the beginning of the year.

"Our failure to execute in line with agreed plans has resulted in two profit warnings and a further change in executive management," he added.

However there were still some bright spots, not least the recent flurry of interest in the company from venture capital buyers including Bain Capital and Advent International, neither of which have yet tabled a bid.

"The recent bid speculation has demonstrated that others see value in our business, particularly around our strong cash generation, [and] we continue to evaluate all realistic options in that regard," said Loosemore.

Looking ahead, Loosemore told investors he would be focusing his time and attention on addressing Micro Focus' failings around product management and sales, adding: "I am confident that when running effectively Micro Focus is an excellent business capable of providing oustanding returns."

Total reported revenue for the 12 months to 30 April came in at £273.5m, up 0.8 per cent on fiscal 2010, although constant currency sales actually declined 6 per cent.

Broken out by business segment, COBOL development and Modernisation and Migration sales were down 0.2 per cent at £184.1m, while AMQ, incorporating Test and Niche product sets, made sales of £89.4m, down 16 per cent. Maintenance revenues represented 53.6 per cent of group revenues, up 3 per cent, and renewals also grew.

The firm turned in statutory pre-tax profit of £71.8m, up 16 per cent on last year.

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