Aukett last week told the City that it expected to post a £461,000 loss for the six months to 31 March because trading had not improved. The announcement follows a 55% drop in pre-tax profit to £920,000 for the year to last September.
The firm’s share price plunged 20% to 4.25p after the news, which puts the cap on an annus horribilis that began with another profit warning a year ago. The firm has been hit by the slowdown, particularly in the US high-tech sector, which resulted in projects being cancelled or deferred.
There now must be serious questions about whether it is worth the company’s time and effort to keep battling on the stock market, no matter how defiant the management.
Aukett joined a number of its rivals when it listed in 1988. But these have all fallen by the wayside over the years and Aukett itself has struggled to get any consistency in earnings and has posted several losses. This patchy performance has kept investors away and meant that the share price rarely rose above 10p.
That struggle proved too much for the company’s founder, Michael Aukett, who quit in 1995 to start a private practice.