THE new boss of a company which swallowed two Dorset IT businesses has unveiled the “worst set of results” he has ever reported on.

IDE Group was created after the £20million purchase of Westbourne’s C4L in 2016 and went on to buy Poole-based 365IT last year.

But in a statement to the Stock Exchange, executive director Ian Smith said the business would have become insolvent under the strategy being pursued by previous managers.

He revealed an adjusted loss of £7m for the six months to June 30 this year, after reviewing the value of the businesses it had acquired.

He wrote that “having been a director of numerous companies over the years, I can safely say these are the worst set of results I have ever had to provide commentary for and there is nothing positive to point to”.

He added: “I strongly believe that the strategy pursued by previous management, if allowed to continue, would have seen the company become insolvent.

“For example, many onerous contracts were signed that created little or no value to the company, including a single outsourced service contract that is costing the company more than £1m a year and which has only generated net cost savings of £50,000.

“This contract, alongside others, was signed without due process or compliance with the company’s authority limits. The company has sought legal advice in respect of this contract and we are currently considering our options in this respect.”

He said despite merging three companies, the business had seen head count rise from 440 to 550, “for which there was little or no incremental revenue gain”. The number of staff had since been reduced to under 400.

Mr Smith said the business had raised £7.5m in funds since May and had reversed the “little integration that had been initiated by the previous management”, so that the company would produce profit and loss accounts for its component businesses – Selection Services, C4L and 365 ITMS.

He added: “We are currently in advanced discussions regarding the sale of one or more of these component parts.”

C4L, set up by local entrepreneur Matt Hawkins, runs a data centre network in Westbourne and was a major player in the rollout of superfast broadband to local businesses.

365IT provides managed IT to mid-sized businesses.

They were acquired by an investment vehicle alongside Selection Services and were initially rebranded CORETX, before a legal dispute led to the change of name to IDE Group.