February 26, 2020 / 8:22 AM / a month ago

Haulier Eddie Stobart takes 170 million pound charge after accounting row

(Reuters) - UK haulier Eddie Stobart (ESLE.L) took a 169 million pounds charge in its half-year results on Wednesday and racked up operating and pre-tax losses as it took its first steps to move past a damaging accounting scandal.

The company, whose green and red trucks are a fixture on British motorways, had delayed its interim results for months causing shares to be suspended last August following the uncovering of mistakes in its 2018 accounts.

It said its underlying operating loss for the six months ended May 2019 was 11.6 million pounds compared to a restated profit of 600,000 pounds a year earlier.

Adjusted pretax loss was 16.5 million pounds for the six months, compared with a restated loss of 1.9 million pounds last year.

The company expects to report a “small” underlying operating loss for the full year but warned that the loss could yet be greater depending on the outcome of an audit.

In December, Eddie Stobart shareholders approved a lifeline from top investor DBAY Advisors, allowing the company to continue trading.

The company, which has already scrapped its dividend, said that net debt at the end of November was 215 million pounds.

Its shares resumed trading at 8 pence on Wednesday, down from roughly 71 pence before it was suspended last year.

Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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