Datalex closes in on new CFO as shares fall further

Troubled travel software company Datalex is closing in on landing a new chief financial officer and is expected to announce the appointment early next month.

Shares in the company - which provides retail software for travel booking firms and airlines like Aer Lingus and Lufthansa - slumped by around 20% after it said it will miss the end-of-April regulatory deadline for the publication of its 2018 annual results.

As a result, trading in the company's shares will be temporarily suspended from next Wednesday - May 1 - until the accounts are published.

It is expected Datalex will now report its 2018 results around the second half of June, on the completion of its ongoing review of its latest set of accounts. Datalex has already guided for a 2018 loss of $4m (€3.6m) due to accounting problems.

An independent review, by PwC, last month confirmed widespread and "significant" accounting irregularities at Datalex and confirmed its revenue, adjusted earnings and profit for the first half of 2018 were misstated. Those figures are due to be re-published when the company presents its first-half 2019 accounts later this year.

The bulk of the issue has been attributed to a misjudgement of initial service revenue from a technology deal signed with Lufthansa. Datalex said the PwC review would be followed by another one focusing on its internal controls and processes.

Datalex shares have slumped by more than 76% in the past 12 months. The stock fell as much as 23% on the back of the latest update.

Last month Datalex said it was looking to bolster its finance department by appointing a head of finance, chief financial officer and head of commercial finance.

Datalex will continue, as planned, with a shareholder meeting on Friday aimed at approving recent fresh financing, including a €6.14m 18-month loan facility - with a 10% annual interest rate - agreed with an investment vehicle of its largest shareholder Dermot Desmond.

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