Business – Allied FD quits

Allied Carpets finance director David Pout has resigned along with retail operations manager Steve Barber less than a week before the publication of an inquiry into accounting irregularities at the company.

In a statement issued yesterday, Allied said that Barber had resigned with immediate effect, while Pout’s offer to resign had been accepted by the board.

Pout will be temporarily replaced by Bruce Wright, former finance director at Meyer International. Prior to this appointment, he spent six months as interim finance director at B&Q.

The company’s directors also confirmed that its interim results for the year to 27 June 1998 will be released next week along with the report of the board inquiry into accounting irregularities, conducted with the company’s auditors Arthur Anderson.

Investigations followed the discovery of a discrepancy of how sales were accounted. Further investigation uncovered that some of the company’s stores were booking carpet sales earlier than normal. It is estimated that the errors will cut profits by #3m for this year.

Allied will also request that the London Stock Exchange lifts the suspension of the listing of its shares at the same time. The company’s shares had fallen from a post-flotation high of 320p in January 1997 to 74.5p last month.

Allied was formed in 1991 from the buyout of parts of the carpet retailing business of Lowndes Queensway group, which was in receivership. In May 1993 the company acquired the Allied Maples group, excluding the Maples furniture stores, from Asda.

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