NCC profits slip; chairman to step down

Rob Cotton

Manchester-based cyber security company NCC Group said its chairman Paul Mitchell will step down on May 31, 2017, as it announced profit before tax for the six months to November 30 fell slightly to £7.4 million despite revenues increasing by 35% to £125.8 million.

NCC said three large unrelated contract cancellations in quick succession and one deferral in its assurance division had an impact on its rate of growth.

NCC Group chief executive Rob Cotton said: “We have continued to see strong organic growth across the business, particularly in assurance, albeit that earlier contract cancellations were disappointing.

“Our EBITDA has increased by 15% and we are maintaining our interim dividend at 1.50p — a clear indication of our confidence in our growth prospects for this year and beyond.

“With our global reach and increased product range, we are in a prime position to help organisations as they tackle compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ahead of 25 May 2018. 

“GDPR preparation should already be well underway but many organisations still believe that preparing for GDPR sits with the IT department and the legal team. In our view, it belongs with the board.”

Debbie Hewitt, NCC senior independent director, will take over as chairman of the nominations committee and will lead the search to appoint a new chairman as soon as practicable, as well as other non-executive appointments to meet the board’s succession plans.

Mitchell said: “I have been involved with NCC Group since its inception, through its IPO on AIM to its current position as a substantial UK-based international technology leader in the cyber security sector.

“I am very proud of the consistent delivery and rapid growth we have achieved during my 17 years as chairman. 

“However, I have now decided, and agreed with the board and shareholders, that it is the appropriate time for a new chairman to be appointed to take the group forward to the next level.”