BusinessCompany NewsAccounting glitch hits Securitas profits

Accounting glitch hits Securitas profits

World's largest security firm hit by £154m restatement

Securitas, the world’s largest security firm, has been hit by a one-off
charge of 2.1bn kronor (£154m) because of an accounting problem in its UK
business.

Pre-tax profits plunged 69% to 883m kronor in 2006.  

The one-off items related to its cash-handling businesses in the UK and
Germany, as well as legal disputes and rent contracts, the Times
reports.

An investigation into its UK unit, Securitas Cash Management, discovered a
gap of £61m between its own figures and those of its bank customers.

Securitas was
created when HSBC and
Barclays outsourced the
handling of physical cash in the UK in 2001.

The security group replaced the banks’ manual systems with an IT statement.
After making this transition it discovered glitches in the automated system and
the banks’ accounts; and in 2005 launched an investigation into the matter.

Thomas
Berglund
, Securitas chief executive said: ‘Securitas is now under control,
but we’ll need this year to conclude the investigation.’

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