Winchester Entertainment chief executive Gary Smith could reportedly face an investigation after selling shares in the UK media concern less than two weeks before it issued a profit warning on revenues.

Smith sold 400,000 shares for $837,400 thirteen days before the company warned full-year results would be below those of the previous year. Winchester shares fell 62% to 52.5 pence on Tuesday (Feb 5) after the warning.

In wire reports, a spokeswoman said that Smith, who now owns 11.9% of the company, had no prior knowledge that the company would need to warn on revenues until a board meeting on Monday. She said that Smith had agreed on the share sale with his board.

In the warning, Winchester cited the delayed delivery of a number of films previously anticipated for delivery in the year to March 31, 2002. The company, listed on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market, said it would make a one off write-down of approximately $2.8m (£2m) to its children's TV programming assets. Winchester did not return calls by press time.