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Keller boss to depart as company pins hopes on strong fourth quarter to meet expectations

Michaelis is to quit by mutual consent. The board has put CFO Mike Speakman in tempory charge while it searches for a replacement CEO.

Resignation
Checking out

Shares in engineering and contracting services firm Keller Group PLC (LON:KLR) fell 32p to 630p after the chief executive agreed to step down.

Alain Michaelis will cease to be a director of a company from 30 September, by mutual agreement with the board. The role of the chief executive officer will be assumed on an interim basis by Mike Speakman, the company’s chief financial officer (CFO).

Mark Hooper, the group’s financial controller, will become interim CFO but will not join the board.

“Alain has decided now is the right time to step down and allow his successor to lead the next stage of Keller's development,” said Peter Hill, the chairman of Keller.

Michaelis’s departure coincided with a warning from the world's largest geotechnical specialist contractor that full-year results would be “more dependent than usual” on the timing of expected large contract awards and the crystallisation of a number of customer claims that are in their final stages of negotiation.

Despite the cautious outlook statement, the company said revenue for 2019 is still expected to be broadly flat versus 2018, with an improvement in margin progressively driving an increase in profit.

Trading momentum in North America in the second half of 2019 has started more slowly than previously expected, the company warned, and although momentum is now building, inevitably there will be an increased weighting towards the fourth quarter.

As for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, trading remains mixed.

In the Asia Pacific region, the group is on track in terms of winning new targeted contracts in Australia.

Quick facts: Keller Group

Price: 542.99139 GBX

LSE:KLR
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £3.94 m
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