Andersen faces chop from SSL.

Andersen could face being dropped as auditor of SSL International after its refusal to give the healthcare company, which makes Durex condoms and Marigold gloves, a clean audit report.

Insiders indicated that the Big Five firm’s re-election at the company’s forthcoming annual general meeting on July 1 was in doubt after a strongly worded-statement from SSL chairman Stuart Wallis as it released annual results this week.

Wallis said: ‘(The board) is satisfied that the adjustments made in these statements are fairly presented and comply fully with the requirements of all applicable accounting standards.

‘The board does not consider the auditor’s qualification should cast doubt on the accuracy of the financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2001 nor on the comparable period results as restated and included herein.’

Andersen qualified the audit report over prior period adjustments arising from an overstatement following an investigation into a #50m stock error.

The firm’s audit report said: ‘We have not obtained all of the information and explanations we consider necessary for the purposes of our audit and have been unable to determine whether proper accounting records have been maintained.’

New FD Garry Watts said Andersen had offered itself for reappointment, but refused to confirm whether this would be accepted.

An Andersen spokeswoman said: ‘Both sides have done what they had to do.’

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