Pinnacle founder Alan Bonner to stand down

Alan Bonner said he was hopeful that a new chief executive would be appointed 'soon'. Picture: Contributed
Alan Bonner said he was hopeful that a new chief executive would be appointed 'soon'. Picture: Contributed
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THE founder of a technology firm boasting high-profile projects such as the London Olympics and Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations is to step down following a “significant deterioration” in trading.

Alan Bonner, who set up telecoms specialist Pinnacle Technology in 1998, said he was hopeful that a new chief executive would be appointed “soon”.

The announcement came as the Aim-quoted firm warned of lower revenues and widening losses for the year that ended on 30 September.

Pinnacle is best-known for providing broadband and other data services at high-profile events, though there have been few of these in the most recent financial year. The Stirlingshire-based firm has been trying to offset this by selling more products to its base of some 3,000 UK business customers.

In yesterday’s statement, Pinnacle said it was also suffering from the poor performance of RMS, the Staffordshire-based IT security firm it acquired in October 2011 for £468,000.

As a result, full-year revenues are expected to come in at about £10.1 million, down from £12.7m previously. Profits will be lower and losses will widen from last year’s £1.1m fall into the red.

In June, Pinnacle reported a 15 per cent decline in first-half revenues and a pre-tax loss of £84,000. Since then, the group has “taken robust actions to reduce on-going costs”.

“I am pleased to report that the group is now trading close to EBITDA break-even on a monthly basis,” Bonner said. “However, I have decided that, 15 years since I started Pinnacle, the time is now right to seek my successor.

“I am hopeful we can soon appoint a chief executive who will help us achieve our objectives and I look forward to ensuring a smooth transition in the best interests of our customers, staff and all other stakeholders.”

Initially set up as a fixed-line provider, Pinnacle has been evolving through a series of largely paper-fuelled acquisitions into a manager of IT services, data storage and security.

It joined Aim in 2007 through a reverse takeover of Glen Group, a small provider set up by former Atlantic Telecom chief executive Graham Duncan. That was followed by a string of eight deals to widen Pinnacle’s offering and meet growing demand for managed services.

The firm completed its largest-ever share placing in February, raising £2.7m before expenses in a move Bonner said would “transform” the balance sheet.

In September, the company rebuffed an unsolicited takeover approach that would have valued the business at about £6.7m. Pinnacle labelled the tentative offer of 21p per share from London-based Coms as an opportunistic move that “severely” undervalued the Scottish firm’s growth prospects.

The full-year results will be confirmed in an announcement in February. Any further announcement about a successor will be made “in due course”.

Shares closed more than 9.2 per cent or 1.75p lower at 17.25p.