PracticeConsultingSoftware company slumps on warning

Software company slumps on warning

Shares for Sema Group plc, an Anglo-French IT consulting and services company, plunged 43% or 268p, dropping to 352p, as nervous investors sold off shares following a profit warning.

Sema said profits for the financial year ending December 31, 2000 would be the same as 1999, ‘clearly below those anticipated by the market and Sema Group management.’

This situation, according to Sema, is due to a deteriorating performance by LHS – acquired by the company in July – with turnover falling to £24m in the third quarter of 2000.

Outsourcing is also blamed for the drop; revenues in this sector are expected to be 10% lower than last year. The group expects a 12% revenue growth in 2001, and will continue to focus on the growing IT market.

Following what dealers described as the largest ever one-day fall in the history of the FTSE-100, Sema is almost certain to be relegated from London’s benchmark index at the next review in a fortnight’s time.

Sema has contracts with mobile phone giant Vodafone, utility Thames Water and train operator Eurostar. Its services cover e-business, telecommunications customer relationship management and banking.

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