March 19, 2018 / 7:51 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Micro Focus CEO quits as group downgrades 2018 revenue forecast

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LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - Britain's Micro Focus International said its chief executive had quit as the group cut its annual revenue forecast due to lower licence income and problems stemming from its purchase of Hewlett Packard Enterprise assets.

The FTSE 100 company said Chief Executive Chris Hsu would step down immediately and be replaced by Stephen Murdoch, currently Micro Focus COO.

It said revenue for the year ending 31 October 2018 was now expected to fall between 6 percent and 9 percent, compared with a previous forecast for a 2-4 percent top-line decline.

Micro Focus, which seeks to boost the margins on software that had been neglected by previous owners, completed the purchase of software assets from HPE in September 2017, using the $8.8 billion deal to catapult the British firm into the top tier of European tech companies.

But the group's shares fell almost 20 percent in January when it revealed its revenue would fall this year after disappointing sales from those software assets.

It said on Monday it had had issues with the implementation of a new IT system which had affected the running of its sales team, particularly in North America.

Analysts at Numis cut their core earnings forecast by 10-14 percent. (Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Sarah Young and Guy Faulconbridge)

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