Solid Pace profits overshadowed by finance chief’s resignation

FTSE 250-listed set-top box maker Pace Group said it expected full- year profit to exceed previous guidance, driven by new product launches and contract wins.

Despite the strong interim results yesterday, which initially prompted minor gains, shares in the British firm slipped 3.6 per cent to 355p after Pace revealed that its well-regarded finance director, Roddy Murray, was to step down with immediate effect for personal reasons.

Pace yesterday reported a five per cent jump in profits to $72m (£42.4m) during the six months to 30 June, the stronger-than-expected profits came in spite of a 14 per cent drop in year-on-year revenue to $1.13bn.

Analysts largely maintained their guidance in light of what Peel Hunt analyst Alexandra Jarvis labelled “short-term uncertainty” in contrast to Pace’s solid long-term forecast based on cash flow and diminishing debt levels.

Major new contracts secured in the first half of 2014 include Sky Italia and an expanded relationship with Sky Deutschland.