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Why the Smartgroup share price just crashed 17% lower

In morning trade the Smartgroup Corporation Ltd (ASX: SIQ) share price has crashed lower following a disappointing announcement.

At the time of writing the salary packaging company’s shares are down 17% to $9.11.

What did Smartgroup announce?

This morning Smartgroup announced that its managing director and chief executive officer, Deven Billimoria, intends to retire from the role.

Mr Billimoria will leave the company at the end of February 2020 after the release of its FY 2019 full year results. The chief executive has been with Smartgroup for over 19 years and in the top job since 2002.

The Smartgroup board has acted swiftly and already appointed a successor. The release advises that its current chief financial officer, Tim Looi, will replace Mr Billimoria once he retires. The search for a replacement for Mr Looi has now commenced.

Smartgroup chairman, Michael Carapiet, said: “Over the past 19 years Deven and his team have established Smartgroup as one of Australia’s leading specialist employee management service providers. I, along with the Board, would like to thank him for his significant contribution to the group and we wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Mr Carapiet appears confident that it will be business as usual under the leadership of Tim Looi.

He added: “Tim has worked alongside Deven for the past ten years and has a deep understanding of the business and our customers’ needs. The Board is confident in his drive and ability to lead the Smartgroup team to deliver results for both our customers and shareholders. We look forward to Tim’s continuing contribution to Smartgroup’s ongoing growth and success.”

Trading update.

In addition to this, the company provided an update on its expectations for the full year.

According to the release, based on preliminary unaudited pro forma year to date results, Smartgroup currently expects to report NPATA of ~$81 million. This will be a 3.8% increase on the $78 million NPATA achieved in FY 2018.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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