Daily Mail



DARKTRACE boss Poppy Gustafsson will be in the spotlight next week as it publishes its first set of results since it was attacked by a short-seller and forced to launch a probe into ‘key financial processes and controls’.

The 40-year-old will face questions about the company’s financial health when she announces half-year figures on Wednesday.

The cyber security firm has revised down its revenue guidance, recently forecastin­g year-over-year growth of 29.5pc to 31pc against its previous outlook of 30pc to 33pc.

Since then, the firm has hired Ernst & Young (EY) to review its finances after New York hedge fund Quintessen­tial Capital Management said it was ‘deeply sceptical’ about financial statements and warned the group may have ‘overstated’ sales and profits.

Quintessen­tial, run by former Israeli paratroope­r Gabriel Grego, even accused it of doing business with ‘shell companies in offshore jurisdicti­ons manned by individual­s with ties to organised crime, money laundering and fraud’.

Shares hit a record low of 210p, well below the 250p mark they listed at last year. Gustafsson said the allegation­s were ‘unfounded inferences’ and launched a £75m share buyback. Darktrace called in EY to conduct a review. Chairman Gordon Hurst said the board ‘believes fully in the robustness of Darktrace’s financial processes and controls.’

But David Vignon, vice-president equity research at Stifel, said the review was not enough to reassure investors.

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