Smart Parking drops 55pc after sackings over alleged management breaches
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Robo parking cop Smart Parking has booted its British managing director and finance director after alleged breaches of the company’s corporate policies.
In an ASX announcement this morning the company said it had become aware of non-compliance in human resources and operational controls by the British management team but had acted “swift and decisively” to terminate them.
Smart Parking (ASX:SPZ) makes smart phone technology that can direct drivers to empty car spaces — but also instantly identifies when a driver has overstayed a time limit, which tripled parking fine revenue during a trial in the Perth suburb of Cottesloe.
The firm has made headlines dating back to 2015, and has been at the centre of a campaign by North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart to have the company removed from the British Parking Association.
Last month the company was accused of “terrorising patients in pursuit of fines” in Henley and was the subject of legal action from a councillor in Dundee last year over hundreds of pounds in fines.
Smart Parking said in today’s ASX announcement that a “review highlighted non-compliance in HR and operational controls which breaches the Board’s customer-focused strategy to build a positive and trusted brand in the UK parking enforcement market and hence a strong platform for long term growth”.
Termination of both directors was effective from last Tuesday — and a review of the business was ongoing.
Shares in the company lost more than half their value, falling from 45c to an intraday low of 20c in early Thursday trade.
“We are disappointed that our clear and consistent Board policy on appropriate operational conduct has not been observed,” chair Chris Morris told the market.
“Our position is to take a constructive approach in the management of our staff with a view to building strong customer relationships and delivering long term, profitable growth for shareholders.”
That wasn’t the last of the bad news for Thursday. The company also forecast a 25 per cent decrease in breach notices for the quarter – which it put down to poor weather conditions in the UK.
Weather meant fewer people were using its sites and April trading had been hit by delays in the roll-out of new sites.
SPZ’s CEO and Managing Director, Paul Gillespie, has assumed the role of UK Managing Director while the search process to recruit new UK management gets underway.