The chief executive of insurance software company Sherwood International, George Matthews, is retiring.

He made the announcement as the company posted disappointing interim results for the six months to the end of June 2001. Profits fell to £800,000 for the interim period, down 78% from £3.7m for the same period last year.

The company blamed the results on poor performance from its life and pensions and reinsurance sectors due to lengthening sales cycles and deferrals. But it said its general insurance business grew strongly.

Sherwood also said it had decided to stop any further investment in its E2-one subsidiary, as the marketplace had changed since its launch.

It also announced it had secured another order for its Progen2 back-office administration system, with Nationwide implementing the system across its general insurance business. A deal to supply the Lloyd's Policy Signing Office with the system was announced in May.

The company said a successor to Matthews had been secured and would join Sherwood in October.

The company is unable to name him during his notice period, but said he had more than 20 years' experience in the IT industry, with the past seven years spent at international board level.