Profit warning knocks £30m off troubled software company SDL

TRANSLATION software company SDL saw more than £30m wiped off its value yesterday after posting a surprise profit warning.

When chief executive John Hunter was shown the door earlier this month, interim boss Mark Lancaster conducted an internal review of the business. Yesterday the company revealed that it expected profits £3m-£4m – up to 10 per cent – less than previously forecast.

The news sent shares in SDL plummeting as much as 16 per cent yesterday, before they finished eight per cent lower, knocking £32.5m off SDL’s market capitalisation.

The company – which offers a range of content management software as well as translation services – has not seen shares this low since mid-2010.

It said the profit warning was due to a cautious outlook on contract completion in the second half of the year, coupled with the “unstable macroeconomic environment”.

Peel Hunt analyst Alex Jarvis, who cut her price target on the stock yesterday, said the announcement was “one of those warnings that raise a lot of questions of management and controls, and comes on top of concerns over strategic positioning of the group’s technology offering”.