Phoenix IT chief bows out

Phoenix IT chief bows out

Nick Robinson re-iterates confidence in IT service firm’s performance and will stay on in non-executive role

IT services goliath Phoenix IT Group took the opportunity of its interim results statement to announce that its founder and chief executive, Nick Robinson, is stepping down.

Phoenix, which in May bought SME and business continuity specialist ICM, saw revenues leap 87.1 per cent to £101.9m for the six months to 30 September. Growth was 7.7 per cent on an organic basis, while pre-tax profits before integration costs inched up 2 per cent to £9.4m.

Robinson will step down on 1 January. Chief operating officer Jeremy Stafford is expected to take the reigns on 1 October 2008, subject to his performance in the interim period.

Robinson, who will stay on in the role of non-executive deputy chairman, said in a statement: “Having founded Phenix and subsequently brought it to market, I remain committed to helping to drive the Group forward. However, I have decided that it is now time to take a less involved role.

“I remain very confident in the prospects of the group and believe that we have a
team of people well suited to developing the group in this next phase. I reiterate the undertaking I made to the Board in August in relation to not selling shares in Phoenix in the medium term.”

Phoenix said its integration plans for ICM had been completed and that integration is underway. It also revealed it is in the process of establishing a ‘centralised operation shared services unit’.

Robinson said: “The acquisition [of ICM]has considerably strengthened the Group's position in the UK Business Continuity and SME IT services markets, and has performed in line with management expectations.

“The underlying business has continued to perform well with like-for-like revenues, excluding the effect of acquisitions, up 7.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2006, and the enlarged Group remains highly cash generative.”