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Bumi CFO steps down after results delayed again

THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER of Bumi is to step down from the board after the embattled coal miner has been forced to twice delay the publication of its annual results.

Scott Merrillees will not seek re-election at the company’s annual general meeting on 26 June, but will stay on as CFO of its 85%-owned subsidiary Berau Coal, the Indonesian-focused FTSE 250 mining group said in a statement.

Nick von Schirnding, chief executive of Bumi said: “This announcement is consistent with our commitment to restructure the plc board.”

News of Merrillees’ departure comes days after Bumi said it would indefinitely delay the publication of its annual results because of unaccounted payments at Berau Coal. In March, Bumi said that it would defer publication of its results until 24 April pending a review of its balance sheet.

The company, founded by financier Nat Rothschild in 2010, said that its balance sheet review uncovered several items that “required additional substantiation” and had concluded that there was insufficient evidence “to support the capitalisation of certain expenditures” of up to $56m (£36.7m) for the cost of building roads at its mine incurred during 2012.

Bumi also said that it was reviewing $38m in land compensation payments made in 2012. “Berau have been unable to fully verify transactions relating to a number of landowner payments, and this is still the subject of the ongoing review,” the company said.

“While clearly the above findings are disappointing, it does reflect the fact that we are taking a grip and turning the corner with independent management in place at both Berau and Bumi,” said Schirnding.

“I am keen to draw a line under the legacy issues and these disclosures form part of an ongoing process of restoring investor confidence in Bumi. It is far preferable to achieve certainty and allow us then to move on with a clean slate,” he added.

 

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