Daisy Group COO Gareth Kirkwood has quit the unified communications provider as the business said it expecting a 'significant' increase in sales and profit for 2012.
Kirkwood stepped down from the board yesterday (12 April) and will leave the group on 30 April 'to pursue other interests'. CEO Matthew Riley will assume his duties. In a trading update, Daisy said all its trading divisions has performed in line with expectations for the year ending March 2012. It said progress in its mobile and data product portfolios in its retail division would 'partially' offset the decline in fixed-line sales, which was caused by lower voice usage and lower mobile termination rates (MTRs).
The company said its wholesale and distribution wings have 'benefitted from the availability of a wider product set and seen an improvement in cross selling trends amongst much of their product portfolios'.
The business revealed it bought audio conferencing specialist Worldwide Group for £28m. In spite of this, it said the main focus of its buy and build strategy had been integrating recently acquired businesses.
The update said: 'For the year ahead, the board is pleased with the progress to date across all key divisions, though remains mindful of the challenging market trends and macroeconomic outlook.'
Analyst Joe Brent of Liberum Capital said it was lowering its EBTIDA predictions for the company by 3% because of 'challenging market conditions'. However, he said Kirkwood's exit and a slowdown in acquisitions would allow CEO Riley more time to focus on operations.
He said: 'A greater focus on its existing operations should result in improving organic growth with reduced churn. The strong management team – Matthew Riley has built a substantial business from scratch, while [executive chairman] Peter Dubens has an excellent track record of both buying and selling assets well – is a key asset in a challenging industry.'
Editor: Graeme Neill