Eddie Stobart suspends share trading

28 August 2019

Logistics firm Eddie Stobart has suspended the trading of its shares and has announced the sudden departure of its chief executive Alex Laffey.

Eddie Stobart said that Sebastien Desreumaux, currently CEO of iForce, the firm’s retail delivery arm, and head of contract logistics, would take over as chief executive.

The company is to undertake a review of its interim results and dividends policy alongside auditors.

It emerged in late July that previous auditor KPMG had stood down after a dispute with Eddie Stobart management during an audit.

In a letter sent in November 2018 KPMG said that its reason for resigning as auditor was due to a breakdown in management which followed “difficulties in obtaining sufficient audit evidence” in 2017. The letter added that in the end the information was provided.

“As part of the group’s review carried out in conjunction with the group’s auditors in relation to the interim results, the board is applying a more prudent approach to revenue recognition, reassessing the recoverability of certain receivables, as well as considering the appropriateness of certain provisions,” said Eddie Stobart in a statement.

It said the review was likely to affect results. Last month the logistics company, known for its green lorries, revealed a £2m discrepancy in its accounts.

New chief financial officer Anoop Kangits found in a review that the 2018 adjusted operating profit figure of £55.3m was overstated by about 4%.

Publication of financial results for the six months to 31 May 2019 has now been delayed to early September.

The firm added that half-year profits were likely to be “significantly lower” than suggested in a recent trading update.

Founded in 1970 by Edward Stobart, the firm operates 2,700 vehicles and has 43 logistical hubs across the UK and Europe.

Desreumaux joined Eddie Stobart in July 2018.

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