ISoft’s future in doubt

The company has shed nearly 90% of its market value

Health software provider iSoft’s future looks problematic, after a series of profit warnings that have seen it shed nearly 90% of its market value. The company is listed in the UK FTSE 250.

ISoft is one of the two major providers of patient management systems to the New Zealand health sector.

The company has delayed publication of its full-year results because it has been unable to conclude negotiations with its banks, according to The Times.

ISoft, which began the year trading at 400 pence (NZ$11.8), has dropped to as low as 49p. The Times says the group has issued three profit warnings over the past five months, mainly because of delays in delivering software to the huge National Health Service project. It has never made a profit.

ISoft has written to all its clients in New Zealand and Australia to reassure them about the business’ viability. Eighteen of New Zealand’s 21 district health boards are clients.

Nigel Lutton, iSoft Australia and New Zealand managing director, says many stories about the company have been speculative and “a little hysterical”.

“There is no board consideration of divestment or sale. The group has no intention of disposing of any operations,” he says.

Lutton was limited in what he could say because the company is in a closed period for announcements, leading up to its eventual statement of results.

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