Micro Focus shares make big gains as its turnaround plan gathers pace

Marion Dakers
SOFTWARE company Micro Focus International’s shares rocketed 13 per cent yesterday after it posted a better-than-expected update.

The firm, which was the biggest riser in the FTSE indices yesterday, said its revenues were higher than previously indicated, while costs linked to its restructuring had come down from earlier estimates.

Micro Focus, which supports mainframe computer applications for companies like Tesco, said it remained in an offer period, after first revealing in May that it was exploring a number of approaches from suitors including Bain Capital and Advent International.

Executive chairman Kevin Loosemore, who joined the group four months ago, said he was “increasingly confident that there is significant untapped value in the business which can be realised by delivering the proposed operational turnaround”.

Peel Hunt analyst Alex Jarvis said it was a positive trading update, adding management was capable of dealing with the execution issues that have dogged the firm.

“The paradox is that the bid becomes more likely the lower the shares trade,” he said. “It would be a great shame to let this business go for 330p [per share].”

Shares in FTSE 250-listed Micro Focus closed 33p up at 283.7p.