Gaughan quits as Sportech CEO

13 November 2018

Andrew Gaughan has resigned from Sportech just eight months after he was appointed chief executive.

In a statement released to the stock exchange this morning, the company said Gaughan had informed the board he was departing “to pursue other interests”. The 52-year-old, who joined Sportech in 2010 and became a board member when he became an executive director in January 2017, will officially depart at the end of February 2019.

Last week Sportech issued a profits warning after failing to secure expected international sales.

Richard McGuire, currently non-executive chairman, will become interim executive chairman with immediate effect. McGuire, who has been with Sportech since 2016, will relocate to the group's US base in Connecticut, where the company is pursuing deals in the newly liberalised US sports betting market.

Gaughan said: "I have enjoyed my time at Sportech over the past eight years, and I leave the group in a position of strength with an established core global betting technology business and well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that the US sports betting market presents.”

Sportech's share price fell by 15% last week on the news that adjusted EBITDA, excluding sports betting investments, for 2018 is likely to be 5% to 10% lower than the current market expectation of £8.5m (€9.9m/$11.1m). While “disappointed”, Sportech said the latest forecast would still represent year-on-year adjusted EBITDA growth of between 14% to 20%.

Sportech also issued a profits warning in March while also announcing its failure to find a buyer. The firm sold The Football Pools for £83m last year and has stated that its focus will be on US expansion following the repeal of PASPA in May. It is particularly focused on Connecticut, a state where it owns 16 Winners and Bobby V’s locations, and which is likely to legalise sports betting next year.

McGuire said: "The board thanks Andrew for his significant contribution to the group, and for leading Sportech as CEO over the past year. I will be working closely with Andrew in the coming months, and as of the end of February we wish him well for the future."