Tuesday 15 June 2021 12:32 pm

Investors stare into the unknown as Keywords CEO Andrew Day departs after bumper year

Keywords Studios CEO Andrew Day will step down from his role following an extended leave of absence.

Jon Hauck and Sonia Sedler will continue as joint interim CEOs until a replacement is found, the company confirmed today.

“It should come as little surprise that Andrew Day is stepping down from his role as CEO at Keywords. A health-related leave of absence that began in March prefaced his decision,” commented Laura Hoy, London-based equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

However, “the market rarely bills a CEO’s departure as good news and Day saw the group through a bumper year last year, so it’s understandable if investors are nervous about the unknown,” she added.

Keywords said revenue growth, excluding currency fluctuations and the impact of acquisitions, was 25 per cent through the first four months of the financial year.

Momentum

The momentum is expected to continue, though a strong performance in the second half last year means growth rates will temper. Shares fell 0.7 per cent in early trading.

With a price-to-earnings ratio some way above the long-term average, execution is everything for Keywords, Hoy stressed.

“There’s no space for missteps and uncertainty, two things which may come bundled up with a new CEO,” she noted.

“But Day’s departure doesn’t change the story behind Keywords stock, the firm is in a strong position and its long-term growth story remains intact,” Hoy continued.

So far this year, the group has seen strong revenue growth and Keywords expects to deliver on the market’s lofty expectations.

“As the search for a new leader progresses, ups and downs are inevitable, but a fresh pair of eyes is rarely a bad thing and Keywords should continue to perform well in the accommodative environment,” Hoy concluded.

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