Shares of Newcastle-based utility cost consultancy Utilitywise fell more than 12% after its delayed final results for the year ending July 31, 2017, showed an adjusted loss before tax of £8.5 million on broadly unchanged revenue of £67.8 million.
Utilitywise also said profit in the second half of the current financial year will be below expectation and will be lower than the first half of the year.
Utilitywise CEO Brendan Flattery said: “The group has traded in line with the expectations during the first half of the year ended 31 July 2018.
“We are particularly pleased with the performance of the corporate division which has seen continued growth in the first half and is expected to continue to grow in the second half of the year.
“However, the significant delay in the completion of the 2017 year-end audit has had a somewhat destabilising effect on several key stakeholders of the group, including colleagues in the short-term.
“Accordingly, it is now expected that the Enterprise division, in particular, to have a softer second half of the financial year, due to these short-term uncertainties.
“We remain confident of the long-term growth prospects of all parts of the business and are working to ensure that the impact on the business is a short-term one.
“However, it is now expected that the trading and, therefore, profit of the group as whole in the second half of the financial year will be below expectation and will be lower than the first half of the year.“
Utilitywise chairman Simon Waugh said: “The past 12 months have been difficult for the group and all of its stakeholders, not least for its shareholders.
“The board has been dealing with a number of challenges, including increasing the transparency of its capital structure, dealing with contract under-consumption issues, primarily as a result of legacy issues from earlier years, and undergoing a fundamental review of the group’s revenue recognition policies.
“The review of these policies has led to the adoption of what the board considers to be a very conservative recognition policy in respect of revenue on procurement contracts.
“This is more conservative than the advice received from an independent accounting firm, after subsequent discussions with the group’s auditors, due to the adoption of additional contingency under-consumption rates over and above those recommended by the independent firm.”