SHARES in Weir Group have fallen by nearly three per cent after investors responded to news of an attempted cyber attack on the company in the second half of September.
The Glasgow-based engineering giant issued a profit warning after disclosing it was “managing the consequences” of a ransomware attack from a “sophisticated criminal enterprise”, which had forced it to isolate and shut down IT systems. The company said the incident had hit profits in the third quarter because it had led to a “rephasing of shipments” and, subsequently, revenue deferrals of around £50 million, “alongside under-recoveries in manufacturing and engineering.”
Weir, which supplies equipment to mining companies, now expects to record full-year profits before tax in the range of £230m to £245m. Before the attack, the consensus among analysts had been for the company to make profits of around £270m.
In a statement to the stock market, Weir said applications that had been isolated and shut down following the attack have been partially restored, while others will be “brought back online in a progressive manner”.
But it expects the disruption to continue into the fourth quarter.
Ransomware attacks broadly involve malicious software being used to threaten a victim with the publication of data or blocking access to it unless a ransom is paid.
Weir, which employs around 11,500 people in more than 50 countries, said investigations so far show that there is “no evidence that any personal or other sensitive date has been exfiltrated or encrypted.”
Noting talks were continuing with regulators and intelligence services, it said that neither the company nor anyone associated with it has had contact with those responsible for the attack.
Weir disclosed the attack in an accelerated third-quarter trading update, which revealed a 30% rise in minerals orders.
Shares closed down 47.8p at 1,599.69p.