February 28, 2014 / 11:11 AM / in 4 years

Speedy Hire to take 4.8 mln stg charge due to accounting fraud

Feb 28 (Reuters) - British construction equipment rental company Speedy Hire Plc said accounting irregularities at its international division would result in a charge of 2.7 million pounds ($4.5 million) against earnings for the year ending March 31.

Speedy Hire said on Friday the amount was part of a total charge of 4.8 million pounds plus fees that it would take for the irregularities, with the balance to be taken in prior periods.

“The accounting irregularities were the result of the deliberate actions of a small number of employees - these employees have now left the business,” Speedy Hire said.

Most of the company’s international business is in the Middle East. Speedy Hire has not disclosed the nature of the irregularities.

The company said in November that it uncovered accounting problems at the division that led to the exit of Chief Executive Steve Corcoran.

Speedy Hire had said then that the total impact of the misstatements on pretax profit would be 4.5-5.0 million pounds, with about 3 million pounds accounted for this fiscal year.

The company had appointed Addleshaw Goddard LLP and Deloitte LLP to conduct an independent legal and forensic investigation into the irregularities.

Speedy Hire’s shares were up 2 percent at 71.31 pence at 1056 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.

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