Cyber security group NCC has announced chief exec Rob Cotton has stepped down today with immediate effect.
The departure follows two recent profit warnings, and the group is now on the hunt for a new boss and a new chairman. Paul Mitchell, the current chairman, steps down at the end of May. The company recently appointed a new chief financial officer, Brian Tenner, who will now act as interim chief executive and lead a recently announced strategic review.
Last week, NCC’s trading update highlighted under-performance in its Assurance division.
City stockbroker N+1 Singer said sales growth has been lower than expected and this has led to a significant reduction in full year expectations. Poor performance has been seen across the division and in all geographies. While NCC says it expects a stronger performance in Q4 (in line with traditional seasonality), in a note to investors, N+1 Singer said that this will not be enough to offset the significant, planned rise in operating costs seen in the year.
The unexpected poor performance has led NCC to launch a strategic review into all aspects of the Assurance businesses, the results of which are expected to be announced at the full year results in July.
NCC’s share price has plummeted by 60 per cent in the last year, with the worst falls following the firm’s warnings about the state of its business to investors in two recent regulatory news announcements.
However, not everyone has given up on the company. Some high profile City fund managers have ramped up their holdings in NCC, seeing the lower price as an opportunity to take advantage of potential value in the shares.
Miton Group, the investment management company, which runs the popular Miton Income Fund, announced in a note to investors that it topped up its holding in NCC after its share price fell, following NCC’s trading update in October.