Ul­tra chief ousted as £120m profit pre­dicted

The Daily Telegraph - - Business - By Alan Tovey

DE­FENCE com­pany Ul­tra Elec­tron­ics’ chief ex­ec­u­tive has been ousted in a sur­prise move that was re­vealed in an af­ter-hours an­nounce­ment.

The FTSE 250 com­pany said Rakesh Sharma, who has led the com­pany since 2010, was leav­ing with im­me­di­ate ef­fect last night.

His de­par­ture comes af­ter “a pe­riod of re­flec­tion by the non-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors on the fu­ture lead­er­ship of Ul­tra”, the com­pany said.

Mr Sharma will be re­placed by chair­man Dou­glas Caster, who led the com­pany from 2005 to 2010, un­til a new chief ex­ec­u­tive can be found.

His de­par­ture comes af­ter Ul­tra, a spe­cial­ist in naval war­fare equipment such as sub­ma­rine de­tect­ing sonar buoys, is­sued a profit warn­ing. The com­pany said it now ex­pects un­der­ly­ing op­er­at­ing profit of £120m com­pared with mar­ket fore­casts of £147m and that or­ganic rev­enue would de­cline by about 4pc.

Warn­ing about the trad­ing con­di­tions, Ul­tra – which de­rives most of its rev­enue in the US – said that “while the ma­jor­ity of mar­kets have been sat­is­fac­tory, the UK mar­ket has been dif­fi­cult and has be­come in­creas­ingly so in the sec­ond half.

“There are mount­ing pres­sures in the fund­ing of UK de­fence pro­grammes and this has re­sulted in the UK MOD paus­ing, can­celling or de­lay­ing nu­mer­ous pro­grammes. Within the last few weeks a num­ber of our UK or­ders bud­geted for 2017 have been af­fected.”

The com­pany also said it ex­pected its $234m (£178m) ac­qui­si­tion of a US ri­val to be de­layed. It is un­der­stood that this is due to US Depart­ment of Jus­tice of­fi­cials be­ing swamped with work.

The news saw Ul­tra’s shares fall more than 11pc to £15.27. Mr Caster said: “Rakesh has con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to the group’s de­vel­op­ment into an in­ter­na­tional provider of spe­cial­ist ca­pa­bil­i­ties with po­si­tions on a broad num­ber of plat­forms and pro­grammes.”

Rakesh Sharma last night left his role as chief ex­ec­u­tive of Ul­tra and said it had “been a priv­i­lege” to work for the firm

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.