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Another Blow For Troubled Bankster Nat Rothschild


The London business, which specialises in power cables and other electrical components, said a “general softening of demand” for its products would hit sales and profits. The shares fell 51¼ – or 37pc – to 89p, wiping £20m off the company’s value and £5m from Mr Rothschild’s fortune.

The blow follows Volex’s revelation in September that it had been hit by change in demand and “product component strategy” by its largest customer, which is thought to account for 30pc of Volex’s business.

Volex did not go into detail, or identify the company by name, but it is understood to have been hit by Apple’s decision to introduce a smaller charger socket for its iPhone 5 than it had used for previous iterations of the smartphone.

In its latest profit warning, Volex said the recent dip in demand had not affected its largest customer, but that sales were now likely to between $470m and $485m, compared to earlier analyst forecasts of $529m. Operating profits are now on track for between $11m and $14m.

Volex was also hit by delays to orders to some of its products, and a change of management at the top of its sales operation.

The company said it would cut costs to help turn the company around, and strengthen its senior sales team. It hired former Diageo executive Daniel Abrams as chief finance director, and Karen Slatford, former general manager of worldwide sales and marketing at US computer giant Hewlett-Packard, as deputy chairman.

However, analysts were unconvinced. Investec moved its rating from a buy to a hold and slashed its target price from 140p to 125p.

“The company has struggled to generate revenue growth in the recent past given a combination of weak end markets, product delays and disruption within the sales organisation,” Investec analyst Thomas Rands said.

The fall will come as a blow to Mr Rothschild, who is already embroiled in a protracted battle over the future of troubled mining firm Bumi.

The billionaire is battling to oust the Indonesia’s influential Bakrie family from the listed company, which they brought to London together before falling out.

Mr Rothschild declined to comment.


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