Autins CEO walks out six months after IPO

Shock resignation comes alongside damaging profit warning
Thursday 09 Feb 2017 Author: Steven Frazer

Rugby-based Autins (AUTG:AIM) has dealt investors a massive blow just six months after joining the stock market. Chief executive Jim Griffin has walked out in the wake of a shock profit warning as a major customer changed the terms of a supply deal, cutting volumes and altering the timing of deliveries.

The contract, speculated to be with Jaguar Rover, is understood by analysts to likely leave a 15% hole in forecast revenues for the current year to 30 September 2017.

That implies about £5m less than £33.5m revenue estimates, suggesting operating profit closer to £2.9m rather than the £3.45m previously pencilled in.

Autins supplies specialist compound materials designed to cut noise nuisance and reduce wasted heat, largely used in the automotive industry. Customers include Bentley as well as Jaguar Rover, the latter thought to account for half of Autins’ annual revenue.

The £32m business will elaborate on the earnings setback when it reports 2016 full year results next month (7 March).

Investors will be miffed by a sudden turn of events that has wiped a third off the share price, falling from 222p to 148.5p, below the IPO (initial public offering) price of 168p.

Institutions that backed the IPO include JP Morgan UK Smaller Companies Fund (GB0030880255) and a pair of Miton small cap funds – CF Miton UK Smaller Companies (GB00B8JWZP29) and Miton UK MicroCap Trust (MINI) – both run by small cap expert Gervais Williams.

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