Proudfoot shares tumble
Wednesday 24 May 1995
Deputy City Editor
Shares in Proudfoot, the US-based but London-quoted management consultancy, lost a fifth of their value yesterday, tumbling 12p to 48p after the company warned that first half profits would be "significantly lower" than last year.
Proudfoot, which seemed to defy the recession in the early 1990s before shocking the market with a series of gloomy trading statements, told yesterday's annual meeting that full-year profits were also unlikely to match last year's pounds 11.2m.
The profits warning came as Lord Stevens, United Newspapers' chairman, retired from his pounds 300,000-a-year job as chairman of Proudfoot.
He leaves after an eight-year tenure at the company, which reversed into a London-quoted shell in the mid-1980s and was for some years one of the best performing stocks on the market.
Proudfoot's problems are have been caused by lower than expected billings in its important American business. The devaluation of the peso has also greatly reduced returns from Mexico.
Malcolm Hughes, the chief executive, said that non-US operations were performing well with higher billings in Germany and Japan.
Last month Proudfoot announced a swing into the black after losses of pounds 11.3m in 1993 despite the first signs of a fall off in trading. Mr Hughes blamed the downturn on the distraction of a failed attempt by management to buy out the company's European and South African businesses.
Mr Hughes, who masterminded Ladbroke's unsuccessful bid for the National Lottery and admits to not being a great fan of management consultants, said he hoped this would be his first and last profits warning at Proudfoot.
He has a reputation as a hatchet man, having restructured the Chloride battery business and cut jobs at Vernons, the pools company.
Proudfoot, with more than 700 staff worldwide and pounds 100m-plus a year of turnover, is capable of being turned around, Mr Hughes believes.
The market has shunned Proudfoot since 1992 when sharp falls in profits and management changes sent the shares plunging from a high of 384p to a low of 67p.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...