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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  Keller Group plc    KLR   GB0004866223

KELLER GROUP PLC

(KLR)
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Keller : says CEO to step down, flags weakness in North America

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09/20/2019 | 03:15am EDT

(Reuters) - Keller Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Alain Michaelis has decided to step down, the engineering contractor said on Friday, while flagging slower-than-anticipated growth in its key North America business for the rest of the year.

Shares of the company were expected to open down as much as 5%, according to pre-market indications, as investors were concerned over the abrupt departure of Michaelis, who has helmed the company for four years.

The company, however, reaffirmed its expectations for the year, saying it was "on track" to win new contracts in Australia, particularly during the fourth quarter.

Michaelis oversaw the company's plan to cut costs and reduce exposure to unprofitable markets. Keller has also been reviewing its Asia Pacific business since October, after a decline in new orders from Southeast Asian markets.

The company, which provides ground improvement equipment and cable systems to the construction industry, said Chief Financial Officer Michael Speakman will take over as interim CEO from Oct. 1, adding that the process of recruiting Michaelis' successor has commenced.

Analysts at Jefferies said uncertainty in the company's North America business "strikes a cautious tone".

"While we do not see explicit reasons in the (Friday's) statement to lower our forecasts, we believe the risks to second-half earnings and the CEO's abrupt departure may concern investors," the analysts wrote in a client note.

The company had said in July that first-half margin declined year-on-year due to higher costs from "unfavourable" weather.

(Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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Financials (GBP)
Sales 2019 2 248 M
EBIT 2019 105 M
Net income 2019 63,3 M
Debt 2019 266 M
Yield 2019 7,30%
P/E ratio 2019 5,96x
P/E ratio 2020 5,13x
EV / Sales2019 0,29x
EV / Sales2020 0,26x
Capitalization 375 M
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 6
Average target price 782,50  GBp
Last Close Price 521,00  GBp
Spread / Highest target 88,1%
Spread / Average Target 50,2%
Spread / Lowest Target 15,2%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Alain Maximillian Michaelis Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Peter J. Hill Non-Executive Chairman
Venu Raju Executive Director & Director-Operations
Michael James Speakman Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
James W. G. Hind Executive Director & President-North America
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