Business – Allied troubles settled

The accounting scandal that blighted Allied Carpets’ results in 1997/1998 is firmly behind it, chairman Julian Lee told Accountancy Age this week.

Speaking ahead of yesterday’s publication of interim results to December 1998, Lee said there would be no repeat of staff booking orders as sales before transactions had occurred.

Irregularities of up to 3% of annual sales meant an adjustment had to be made to last year’s results.

Lee said that there was a small residual hangover which was accounted for at the end of last year, but stressed the majority of discrepancies were dealt with last summer.

Allied has sought to move on from the row. It has replaced Arthur Andersen as auditor with Ernst & Young and is likely to appoint a new finance director in the coming weeks.

The main accounting issue in the current results was expected to be the disclosure of the sale of 27 stores to Carpetright for #13m.

But the results were expected to reflect the gloomy condition of the retail market, especially for ‘high ticket’ durables.

‘It is a troublesome time, even though interest rates have come down,’ said Lee. ‘It is all about customers’ confidence of remaining in employment long enough to afford something that costs much more than a month’s salary.’

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