TechnologyFeb 27 2023

Bravura halts trading ahead of half-year results

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Bravura halts trading ahead of half-year results
Bravura admitted back in November that its financial performance between July 2022 to June 2023 will be “below market expectation” [REX/Shutterstock]
ByRuby Hinchliffe

Platform technology provider Bravura halted trading at the end of last week ahead of announcing its half-year results tomorrow, which are expected to be "below market expectation[s]".

The ASX-listed company has seen its share price fall nearly 50 per cent over the past year, prompting rumours it could be a takeover target - especially after SS&C and FNZ lost out on GBST.

In Australia on Friday (February 24), Bravura announced a suspension on trading until tomorrow (February 28).

“Unless ASX decides otherwise, the securities will remain in trading halt until the earlier of the commencement of normal trading on Tuesday, or when the announcement is released to the market,” the company’s adviser, Romano Seeto, said.

Bravura's tech underpins adviser platforms such as Nucleus, Fidelity and M&G Wealth.

Back in November, the firm’s share price more than halved following an update which prompted one analyst to brand its balance sheet position “significantly more precarious” than previously envisaged.

The technology provider said in the update it had “solid foundations”, but that the business needed to be “reconfigured” to scale products and revamp its technology stack, while operating costs had continued to rise due to a competitive labour market.

Bravura admitted performance in its 2023 financial year - which spans July 2022 to June 2023 - will be “below market expectation” before planning to return to revenue growth in 2024.

An analyst note from MST Emerging estimated a 20 per cent increase in operating costs, coupled with a “sharp decline” in high margin licence revenue, and a “slower than expected” transition to microservices.

Bravura’s chief executive, Libby Roy, had been conducting a strategic review of the business after taking on the top role in August.

Following the November update, some analysts were left worrying that if one of Bravura’s clients was not comfortable with the state of the group’s balance sheet, this would then require the provider to raise money from existing shareholders. 

This, one analyst told FTAdviser, could be a concern for some of Bravura’s clients given the ‘mission critical’ nature of the software that Bravura provides to its clients.

In recent months, Bravura’s share price has begun to recover, rising from 34 pence (AUD 0.60) in November to 48 pence (AUD 0.85) at market close on Friday.

Rumours of a takeover follow rivals FNZ and SS&C’s failed attempts to buy GBST after the deals were ruled out by competition watchdogs in the UK and Australia.