New boss for technology firm K3 as pandemic hits earnings

Technology group K3 has announced the appointment of a new CEO as it also revealed losses had widened during a ‘challenging year.’

Marco Vergani, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the technology industry having held senior roles at IBM for 26 years, latterly as vice-president of EMEA sales for Global Process Services and more recently as CEO at Qubit, will now lead the Salford company.

The news comes as K3, which provides mission‐critical business software, cloud solutions and managed services to clients, revealed its financial results for the year to 30 November 2020.

Revenue from continuing operations over the financial year decreased by 2.5 per cent to £48.8m, down from £50.1m in 2019, and gross profit decreased slightly to £28.7m from £28.8m.

However, the group’s reported losses, before discontinued operations, increased to £20.9m, a significant rise from £1.1m in 2019 after non-cash impairment and reorganisation charges.

Last April, K3 put its loss-making UK Dynamics business into administration as the group focused on its core profitable business units, and the sales route for its K3|fashion and K3|pebblestone products in the UK is now through channel partners – as it is in Europe and international markets.

Tom Crawford, Chairman of K3, said: “In the face of unprecedented challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, I am pleased with the resilience K3 has demonstrated. Our high level of predictable and recurring revenues, as well as our large and diverse customer base, led to robust results at a trading level.

“Implementing our strategy to focus on Own IP and Global Accounts and to cease investing in legacy POS products, we took a number of important strategic decisions in line with our growth strategy.

“These included placing the loss-making UK Dynamics unit into administration, raising additional funding and, in late February 2021, selling Starcom, our managed services unit, for £14.7m. The Group is now in a significantly stronger financial position and is better placed to drive our Own-IP strategy.”

He added: “Following Starcom’s sale, Adalsteinn Valdimarsson stepped down as Chief Executive Officer, and I am pleased to welcome Marco Vergani as his successor.  He brings significant sector experience and a strong record of driving sales.

“Marco will be leading a re-evaluation of our target markets for K3|imagine, which continues to offer exciting growth potential. We have a strong product offering and look forward to a return to more normal trading conditions as the coronavirus vaccine programme continues and lockdown restrictions are eased.”

Marco Vergani said: “My background in commercial sales and the retail and direct-to-consumer sectors is directly relevant, and I look forward to working with colleagues, clients, and strategic partners to continue to innovate and drive long-term, high-quality, subscription-based earnings.”

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