Shares in struggling ATM operator Scott Tod plummeted after the vendor sacked its chief executive officer and warned that it will incur full year pre-tax losses of around £1.1 million.
Shares in the AIM-listed firm fell 25% to 19.50 pence in morning trading after it released an update saying that it had been decided that CEO Nick Tod will leave the company.
Tod, who owns 27% of the company with his wife, was ousted following a disagreement with the board over future strategy. It's understod that he was keen to continue with a strategy based around expansion of the firm's network of ATM, while the board felt it more appropriate to consolidate and work the current estate harder by relocating underperforming machines.
Operations director Lawrence Watts has been appointed interim chief executive and Scott Tod says non-executive chairman David Massie will increase his time and commitment to the firm on a temporary basis until a permanent chief executive is appointed.
The company says it now expects to post a pre-tax loss before amortisation of goodwill of between £1.0m and £1.1m for the year ending 30 June 2005 after it lost two major customers - accounting for some 700 ATMs - and incurred further costs associated with implementing chip and PIN technology.
As a result the firm says a deferred consideration will not be paid and all share options to other employees will lapse.
The vendor also warned that there are a significant number of ATMs which were not transacting or transacting at low volumes and it is implementing a programme of relocating under-performing ATMs. The firm says greater emphasis is being given to individual or small site operations where it appears possible to gain greater length of initial contracts, thereby mitigating the risk of contract losses.
In January Scott Tod said that transaction revenues in the pre-Christmas period had been affected by bad publicity surrounding fee-charging cash machines. The group's ATMs are mainly located mainly in pubs and clubs and charge for cash withdrawals.