The owner of Patisserie Valerie has suspended its shares after the discovery of potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities.
Patisserie Holdings said it has been notified of “significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities and therefore a potential material mis-statement of the company’s accounts”.
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As a result, this has significantly affected the company’s cash position and may lead to a “material change” in its overall financial position. According to Sky News, the accounting hole could be more than £20m.
Patisserie has therefore asked that its shares be suspended from trading on the London Stock Exchange’s junior AIM market while it carries out a full investigation into its true financial position.
In addition, the finance chief, Chris Marsh, has been suspended from his role.
Patisserie Holdings plc
The chairman, Luke Johnson, said: “We are all deeply concerned about this news and the potential impact on the business. We are determined to understand the full details of what has happened and will communicate these to investors and stakeholders as soon as possible.”
Mr Johnson is Patisserie Holdings’ largest shareholder, with a 37% stake.
In May, the firm reported a 14.2% rise in pre-tax profits for the six months ending on 31 March, up from £9.7m to £11.1m.
Revenue climbed 9.1% to £60.5m, it said at the time. Patisserie Valerie trades from more than 200 stores and also has a partnership with Sainsbury’s, with branded counters present in the supermarket.
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