Troubled Datalex’s chief Aidan Brogan quits

Travel software company has been hit by accounting irregularities

Aidan Brogan has quit Datalex. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Aidan Brogan has quit Datalex. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Datalex, the travel software company hit by accounting irregularities, said on Thursday that its long-standing chief executive, Aidan Brogan, has quit with immediate effect.

Mr Brogan, who led the company for almost seven years, will be replaced as chief executive on an acting basis by Datalex’s recently appointed deputy chairman Sean Corkery, the Dublin-listed group said in a stock exchange statement.

Datalex said that it will update the market “in due course” after it completes a search for a permanent chief executive.

Shares in Datalex have lost 62 of their value since the group issued a profit warning in mid-January and revealed suspected accounting irregularities that were subsequently confirmed.

The company’s shares were suspended from trading on Thursday morning, after the company flagged last week that it would not be in a position to publish its full-year results by an end-April deadline to comply with market transparency rules.

Sources have said that investors will have to wait until mid to late June to get a copy of the audited 2018 results.

Retire

Chairman of nine years Paschal Taggart confirmed last Friday that he would not be seeking re-election at Datalex’s agm, saying: “Somebody’s got to fall on their sword in these situations”.

Still, he told shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting (egm) earlier that day that he had been planning to retire from the position for some time. The company has also lost two chief financial officers in the past six months.

Datalex’s problems have seen it rely on its main shareholder, Dermot Desmond, for a €3.85 million equity injection and €6.15 million loan in recent months. The loan, approved at last week’s egm, carries a 10 per cent interest rate and has an 18-month term.

Datalex has also moved to cut jobs and contract roles to save $10 million (€8.9 million) annually from next year. The company has repeatedly declined to comment how many jobs have been eliminated. About 500 people worked for the company at the beginning of the year, including employees and contractors.

The Irish Times reported in February that the Central Bank had opened an investigation into Datalex. This is understood to centre on the company’s trading statement on November 23rd – less than eight weeks before the profit warning – which said it was performing in line with expectations and was “confident” about posting double-digit percentage earnings growth for 2018.