ADMIRATION for the work of Kevin Hostetler at FTSE 250 engineering firm Rotork was plain to see today after shares tumbled 7% on his plans to return to America next year.
The chief executive has overseen three years of investment and restructuring as he positions the Bath-based flow control and instrumentation specialist to benefit from the transition to a low carbon economy.
The fruits of his efforts have now started to pay off as Rotork today overcame Covid-19 disruption for a better-than-expected 8% rise in half-year profits to £54.1 million, leading to a resumed dividend of 2.35p a share.
Hostetler’s decision to return to the US with his young family once a successor has been found next year soured the mood, however, as shares slumped 26.2p to 336.6p.
They had been closer to 275p when Hostetler joined in early 2018.
Rotork was the biggest faller in the FTSE 250 index, with interdealer broker TP ICAP another stock under pressure as its latest trading update revealed the continued impact of quiet market conditions. Shares fell 8p to 192.02p.
The FTSE 250 remained in record territory, rising 85.29p to 23,293.96.
Stocks doing well included industrial threads manufacturer Coats, up 2p to 73p as interim results confirmed that 2021 trading is moderately better than hoped.
The FTSE 100 index rose 22.91 points to 7,104.63, with progress offset by an 8% fall for Smiths Group after last night’s announcement that it plans to sell its medical division to TA Associates for £1.3 billion.
Deal-making attention was also focused on FTSE 250-listed gambling technology firm Playtech as it presses ahead with plans to sell its Finalto financial division to an Israeli consortium.
A vote on the deal is planned for August 18, with 5% shareholder Gopher Investments unhappy at the continued support after it tabled a rival offer worth $250 million subject to conditions.
Playtech shares were today 0.2p higher at 370.4p.