Wace in red as chairman quits

Wace, the specialist printing and imaging group, yesterday reported its second loss in four years and said Fran ten Bos was quitting as chairman.

The pounds 2m loss follows three profit warnings last year which saw Wace's share price collapse from a peak of 279p to 57p. Last night the shares closed unchanged at 91.5p, valuing the company at pounds 72m

Analysts said the results were in line with a warning from chief executive Trevor Grice in October that the costs of a big restructuring programme would plunge Wace into the red.

Wace, which made profits of pounds 20.5m in 1995, took an exceptional charge of pounds 13.9m last year to cover the cost of exiting paper-based commodity printing to focus on higher-margin electronic publishing and digital media.

A commercial print plant in Glasgow was shut, imaging activities in Paris and Chicago have both been moved on to fewer sites and printing businesses in Holland and America are up for sale.

"The only thing I've done at Wace is to make it smaller," said Mr Grice, who became chief executive in 1993. "Now for the first time I feel comfortable talking about growth and margins."

But concerns about a sudden downturn in the US imaging market caused analysts to lower their forecasts.

Louise Barton at Henderson Crosthwaite said her profit forecast would be cut from pounds 13m to between pounds 5m and pounds 10m. "I think Mr Grice has learned some lessons but the damage in the US has already been done," she said.

Wace said Mr ten Bos, a former Scottish rugby international, had "expressed a wish to step down but will continue in office until a new chairman is found." He has been chairman of Wace for seven years.

A Department of Trade and Industry inquiry continues into allegations of insider dealing and money laundering against Wace under Mr Grice's predecessor, John Clegg.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore