Wednesday 19 December 2018

Patisserie Holdings suspends shares following the discovery of potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities

The owner of Patisserie Valerie has suspended its shares following the discovery of potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities (Lauren Hurley/PA)
The owner of Patisserie Valerie has suspended its shares following the discovery of potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities (Lauren Hurley/PA)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Patisserie Holdings, the owner of Patisserie Valerie, has suspended its shares following the discovery of potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities.

Primarily based in the UK, in Ireland the café and cake shop has two stores in Dublin – in Debenhams on Henry Street, and in Debenhams in Blanchardstown.

The group is also in three locations in Belfast.

The company said that yesterday the board had been notified of "significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities" and therefore a potential "material" mis-statement of the company's accounts.

This has "significantly" impacted the company's cash position and may lead to a material change in its overall financial position, the group added.

As a result it has requested that its shares be suspended from trading on AIM in London while it conducts a full investigation with its legal and professional advisers into its true financial position.

The company added that Chris Marsh, its chief financial officer, has been suspended from his role.

Commenting on the news, Luke Johnson, chairman of Patisserie Holdings, said that the group was "deeply concerned about this news and the potential impact on the business."

"We are determined to understand the full details of what has happened and will communicate these to investors and stakeholders as soon as possible."

In the six months to 31 March this year the group reported revenue of £60.5m, a 9pc increase year-on-year.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation were £13.6m during the period, up 11.6pc year-on-year.

In a further stock market update issued on Wednesday afternoon, Patisserie Holdings said that it has received a winding-up petition for its principal trading unit Stonebeach.

It relates to £1.14m owed to HMRC and was filed at the High Court of Justice, Companies Court.

Patisserie Holdings said it is in communication with HMRC with the aim of addressing the petition and it continues to engage with advisers to understand the financial position of the group.

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