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Lookers delays annual financial results due to fraud investigation

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Lookers has revealed that it will delay the publication of its 2019 annual financial results after finding evidence of potentially fraudulent transactions in one of its operating divisions.

In a statement issued via the London Stock Exchange today (March 10), the AM100’s second-placed retail group by turnover said that it had made the discovery while in the final stages of preparing its results for the financial year ended December 31, 2019.

“As a result the board has decided to postpone the announcement of its results until the second half of April,” the group said in its statement, adding: “Whilst the initial findings are not material in the context of the group, the board is appointing an external adviser to lead a full investigation into the matter.”

The issue is the latest blow to the Lookers operation following the launch of an official investigation of the business by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), prompting the departure of chief executive, Andy Bruce, and chief operating officer, Nigel McMinn.

The group vowed to invest £10 million over next two years in a bid to deliver a “gold-plated” sales process ahead of the launch of an official investigation of the business by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) last year.

The FCA is currently investigating the regulated sales activities at Lookers, which raised concerns with the regulator after identifying “some control issues” via an independent review of its practices in December 2018.

A statement included within the H1, 2019, financial results said: “The board takes this matter very seriously and continues to co-operate and co-ordinate fully with the FCA.

“When these improvements are fully deployed across the group, our strengthened infrastructure and enhanced customer experience will create a robust and industry leading platform that will facilitate further growth. We will provide further updates as appropriate.”

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