Patisserie Valerie will be 'forced to stop trading' without cash injection

Lloyd Doyle
October 12, 2018

The Birmingham-based company - with cafes in Wolverhampton, Telford and Shrewsbury - suspended both its shares and its finance director yesterday after discovering "significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities and therefore a potential material mis-statement of the company's accounts".

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

It relates to £1.14 million owed to HMRC.

Earlier on Wednesday, its shares were suspended following the discovery of an accounting blackhole.

In the 24 hours which followed, the company met with professional advisors and the board has "reached the conclusion there is a material shortfall between the reported financial status and the current financial status of the business".

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

Chris Marsh, the company's chief financial officer, has been suspended from his role.

According to Sky News, the hole in the company's accounts could be "over GBP20 million".

As a outcome, its shares with suspended from trading on AIM, the Alternative Investment Market while it "conducts a full investigation with its legal and professional advisors into its true financial position". "We are determined to understand the full details of what has happened".

It also has a partnership with Sainsbury's supermarket.

Patisserie Valerie posted a nine per cent annual jump in revenue in the six months to the end of March, climbing to £60.5m, while pre-tax profit grew 14 per cent to £11.1m.

The crisis at Patisserie Holdings, which is led by leisure industry entrepreneur Luke Johnson, comes amid growing scrutiny in Britain of the way companies' books are checked, with the country's competition regulator launching a review of the audit sector on Tuesday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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