STRONG growth for the first half of the 2020 financial year have failed to prevent a slump in WiseTech shares on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The tech/forwarding giant was trading at $29.40 a share on 18 February, the highest since mid-October 2019, before tumbling to $17.60 at the close of business on February 26.

While analysts J Capital were quick to blame “a shocking decline in profitability”, it should be noted Australian stocks across the board slumped in the past week, apparently due to coronavirus fears.

Earlier, WiseTech founder and CEO Richard White talked up the half year results.

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“We continued to deliver high quality growth in 1H20 with revenues up 31% to $205.9m and EBITDA up 29% to $62.5m, a reflection of the strength of our CargoWise business and strategic actions, along with increased adoption by the world’s largest logistics organisations while we continued to expand our technology platform and grow our global footprint,” Mr White said.

“We are investing to grow. In the last five years alone, we have invested over $360m in product innovation, adding 3,500 product enhancements to our global platform.

“All while also securing over 40 strategic assets with 1,200 leading experts, technologist and logistics industry people across 35 countries, thus capturing centuries of hard-to-access capability and significant development capacity to further resource our technology pipeline for future growth.”

J Capital (whose report into WiseTech last year led to the company going into a trading halt, have issued another critical report, arguing the company’s acquisitions were failing to perform and thus WiseTech was “paying less in earn-outs”.

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