No final payout from MDIS

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The Independent Online
McDonnell Information Systems Group, the beleaguered computer services company, produced further misery for its shareholders yesterday when it said it will not be paying a final dividend for the year.

It also said that its year-end figures will include exceptional provisions of around pounds 20m as a result of the closure of some non-core operations, the cost of about 170 redundancies and other write-offs.

"This has been just one unmitigated disaster from start to finish," said one institutional shareholder who participated in the flotation of the company last March.

The shares have fallen from 260p to just 36.5p - down 24.5p yesterday - after a series of profit warnings and other bad news. The exceptional provisions will include a large write-down for the disposal of surplus property that is currently being sold.

The company said that profits for the year to 31 December 1996, will depend on the successful outcome of its new strategy, which is to concentrate on its core operations in the UK and the US.

The board, with Ian Hay Davison as chairman, is confident that revenues in the core UK and US operations will continue to grow and that the refocusing strategy will lead to a reduced cost base.

A company spokesman said yesterday that John Klein, the new chief executive, was clear about the strategy and prepared to take decisive action.

The company said that the combination of profits in the core UK markets and significant losses in the US operations meant that these businesses would broadly break even in 1995, before exceptional items were taken into account.

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