Sema stalls on briefing for share price probe


Sema stalls on briefing for share price probe

Bill Goodwin

Bill Goodwin

IT services firm Sema this week postponed an analysts' briefing into its disastrous performance and ordered an internal inquiry into share dealing by a director.

Sema customers have been left in a state of uncertainty after dramatic falls in its share price raised questions about its financial stability.

Sema is responsible for large outsourcing programmes with customers including the Metropolitan Police and Railtrack.

The move, which angered shareholders, follows a profit warning and comes amid an internal investigation into the share-dealing activities of former Sema director, Hartmut Lademacher.

Lademacher resigned following revelations that he sold shares in Sema before its interim results, in contravention to rules governing sales of directors' shares during the two-month closed period.

Sema Group raised eyebrows when its UK managing director, John Tilley, left in November to head up outsourcing consultant Mim Ecom.

Sema said its overall trading position is profitable and claimed profits in the second-half would be "broadly in line" with the same period last year. The statement came a week after Sema warned that it expected its second-half profits to be "clearly below those anticipated by the market".

The group is focusing its efforts on e-commerce and mobile communications, but critics claim it has struggled to establish itself as a credible mid-tier service provider.

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