(Adds comments from company, updates shares)
By Olof Swahnberg and Helena Soderpalm
STOCKHOLM, Sept 5 Sweden's Eniro said
it may bring in police after it unearthed inaccuracies in its
accounts which forced the directories firm to cut profit
forecasts, wiping nearly a third off its market value on Friday.
It was the second time in two months Eniro had issued a
profit warning and its shares fell 29.2 percent to 13.75 crowns,
extending their market slide this year to more than 70 percent.
Eniro replaced its chief executive, Johan Lindgren, less
than a month ago. It said then the board and Lindgren had
"mutually agreed" he would leave.
The company said on Friday it had now cancelled an agreed
severance package for Lindgren.
"We took the decision to dismiss Johan Lindgren," Eniro
Chairman Lars Johan Jarnheimer told reporters on Friday.
Reuters attempts to reach Lindgren for immediate comment, by
phone and at his Stockholm address, were unsuccessful.
Jarnheimer said Eniro was waiting for a recommendation from
external lawyers before deciding whether to call in the police.
Eniro said it now expected earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortisation of 700 million Swedish crowns ($99
million) in 2014.
On July 16, Eniro lowered its profit forecast to 850 million
euros from about 950 million after a second quarter of weak
sales at its Swedish business, above all at its eniro.se web
Eniro said the negative impact of the inaccuracies came to
58 million crowns on sales and earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation in 2013, while the impact in the
first half of 2014 was 28 million.
Investigations into Eniro's Swedish operations have been
closed and Jarnheimer said he saw a limited risk of accounting
inaccuracies from the company's other Nordic operations.
Eniro's biggest shareholder Danske Capital, which owned 11.4
percent of share capital at the end of August according to the
company's website, declined to comment on the case.
Sweden's largest shareholders association, however, said
Jarnheimer should be replaced as Eniro chairman and a new
chairman should initiate an investigation by an independent law
firm into any wrongdoing at Eniro.
"If the company has been badly governed, the vultures could
soon be flocking to buy it," spokesman Albin Rannar told daily
Eniro's board of directors have commissioned an
investigation to validate the firm's accounts. The probe is
being conducted by Eniro's auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers,
which also was auditor for the company in 2013.
A traditional Yellow Pages outfit with more than 100 years
behind it, Eniro's old business model was undermined by the
Internet and devices such as smartphones. Revenues have fallen
by about half since the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
Eniro told Reuters in March that sales should grow in 2015
after several years of falling revenues.
On Friday, Jarnheimer told Reuters he would not comment on
future growth, but there had been no major changes for the
company's future business prospects.
Eniro's woes come in a week that has seen other European
firms adjust past earnings due to accounting errors.
Swiss computer accessories maker Logitech said this week it
would make minor adjustments to earnings for 2011 and 2012 due
to erroneously booking inventories.
PricewaterhouseCoopers audited Logitech's earnings in the
German sportswear maker Puma said this week it had
understated its 2012 pretax profit by at least 10 million euros
($13 million) because of accounting errors.
Deloitte & Touche was Puma's auditor for its 2012 report.
(1 US dollar = 7.0709 Swedish crown)
(Additional reporting by Mia Shanley and Simon Johnston;
editing by David Clarke)