Business – UK rules boost Rover results

Rover is to delay publication of its 1998 results compiled under UK accounting rules until at least October, but the figures are expected to be much healthier than the #620m loss drawn up under German accounting rules that was announced last week.

The beleaguered car maker indicated this week that Rover Group’s 1998 financial statements would be quietly submitted to Companies House just before the ten-month filing deadline in October.

They are expected to show Rover’s losses are far less than the #620m loss announced in a blaze of publicity last week by parent company BMW.

The German car giant’s harsh accounting policies have cost Rover more than #230m since 1994. Last year, BMW announced Rover 1997 losses were #91m, contrasting dramatically with a #19m profit shown on Rover Group accounts compiled under UK rules filed with Companies House months later.

The different figures arise mainly as a result of differences in UK and German methods of accounting for depreciation.

The #620m loss revealed under German rules was much larger than predicted and has increased the concerns of Rover’s 14,000 Longbridge workers. The factory’s future still hangs in the balance, pending investment decisions by BMW and the UK government.

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