BusinessCompany NewsAshstead discovers unreconciled accounts

Ashstead discovers unreconciled accounts

Ashtead, the plant hire firm, has had to make a £5m restatement to its accounts after the suspension of a member of its US finance staff for not reconciling accounts properly.

Link:Network Rail’s debt to be in government accounts

Making the problem public yesterday, Ashtead revealed that the staff member had been suspended from its US subsidiary Sunbelt Rentals.

According to Ashtead the individual concerned has not gained personally from the accounting crisis, and insists that no other member of staff was involved.

A statement issued by Ashtead on the Regulatory News Services said: ‘The effect is that certain costs of the business in the accounts to the year to April 2002 and in the current year appear to have been understated. The sums involved are said to be approximately £2.5m (approximately £1.5m after tax) in each financial year.’

‘An immediate investigation has been launched to satisfy the Board as to themotive for and the extent and nature of the misstatement. External advisors arebeing appointed to assist the Board in this investigation. The Board ispresently reviewing whether there is an impact on its banking arrangements. Inthe meantime the Board is keeping its bankers appraised of the position.’

Shares in Ashstead closed Monday at evening at 28.5p but fell on opening this morning to 10.75p.

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