Rover’s losses have been exaggerated by the use of German accounting standards by parent company BMW.
Using UK accounting standards, Rover lost around £160m less for the year ending December 1998 than is stated in BMW’s accounts drawn up using German accounting standards.
According to UK accounts Rover made losses of £509m in 1998. But BMW’s accounts showed the company lost £670m. Under German accounting policies, investments are depreciated faster, depressing profits.
A spokesman for Rover said the trend for lower losses in the company’s UK accounts continued into 1999, although the accounts have not yet been filed. He said: ‘They would show significantly less losses.’
Alchemy, whose managing partner Jon Moulton is a fellow of the English ICA, now plans to use UK accounting standards when dealing with its new purchase. However a spokesman said a decision to buy was based on ‘management issues’ and not on the more optimistic financial position revealed by UK accounts.
The contract to audit Rover may now be up for grabs. KPMG audited the company but only as part of BMW’s consolidated accounts.
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