MARKET REPORT: Shipping agent Braemar sinks 19% after warning its full-year results will be delayed amid scrutiny of its accounts
Shipping agent Braemar had its worst day in more than two decades after it said it will miss the deadline for publishing results during an investigation into its accounts.
The company, which advises customers on matters such as choosing the best oil transportation routes and finding ways to reduce emissions, said its figures for the year through the end of February will not be published Friday due to an investigation into a transaction from £2.4 million. dating from 2013.
“The board is currently not comfortable with the way the transaction has been reflected in the past and the remaining liability has been recorded on the company’s balance sheet,” the company said.
Braemar engaged professional consultancy FRP to assist with the investigation.
Results will be delayed until the probe is complete, as Braemar cannot meet the June 30 legal deadline.
Probe: Shipping agent Braemar advises clients on issues such as choosing the best oil transport routes and finding ways to reduce emissions
As a result, it will request suspension of trading in its shares next Monday. Shares fell 19.7 percent, or 55 pence, to 224 pence — the biggest drop since 1999.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however. Braemar expects to report record results for the year by the end of February, with sales of at least £150 million and profits of ‘no less than’ £20 million.
Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘Auditors have apparently identified concerns.
This will have pushed investors aside as the company only reported a two-thirds increase in pre-tax earnings in February and was expected to well exceed previous forecasts.”
The FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent, or 8.29 points, to 7453.58 and the FTSE 250 fell 0.5 percent, or 87.66 points, to 17,974.67.
AO World posted gains after Mike Ashley’s fashion empire increased its stake in the online electronics store for the second time this month.
Frasers Group bought an 18.96 per cent stake on June 12, worth £75 million. Days later, it increased this to 21.33 percent and has increased its stake again to 22.19 percent.
Stock watch – Cake box
Cake Box praised robust sales as inflation eased.
Group sales rose 5.6 per cent to £34.8 million in the 12 months to the end of March.
Profits fell 29 per cent to £5.4bn, but the final dividend was raised from 5.1pa to 5.5p.
And the company said retail sales in the first 11 weeks of its new fiscal year were up 5.4 percent from a year earlier.
Shares, which traded at 108p on June 27, 2018, gained 3.2 per cent, or 4p, to 131p, but remain well below their peak of 426p in November 2021.
Shore Capital analyst Bradley Hughes said: ‘We believe that Frasers is a company that is evolving to engage more with younger and more internet savvy cohorts, so perhaps the AO stake presents an opportunity to bring their acquisition of Studio Retail more life to blow in.’
The group will publish its annual results until the end of March next week.
Shares in AO World, up nearly 70 percent this year, gained 1.3 percent, or 1.1 pence, to 85.5 pence, while Frasers Group rose 0.4 percent, or 3 pence, to 686 pence.
But Frasers’ spree didn’t end there. Last week it built up an 8.89 percent stake in Currys and yesterday increased it to 10.39 percent.
Meanwhile, Whitbread rose 1.7 percent, or 54 pence, to 3325 pence after HSBC raised its price target from 4200p to 4700p.
But Lloyds fell 0.9 percent, or 0.36p, to 41.96p after JP Morgan downgraded the bank from “neutral” to “underweight” and cut its price target from 56p to 42p.
In a gloomy message to clients, the broker expects interest rates to hit a high of 5.75 per cent and cuts its profit forecasts for UK banks on the belief that they could come under increasing political pressure ahead of next year’s general election to stand.
The mood was slightly better in Cranswick following a vote of confidence from RBC, which upgraded its rating from ‘sector outperform’ to ‘outperform’ and raised its price target from 3400p to 4000p.
The analysts pointed to the group’s long-term growth potential, including its entry into pet food. Shares were up 2.2 percent, or 70p, to 3270p.
Elsewhere, North Sea gas producer IOG rose 24.1 percent, or 1.01 pence, to 5.21 pence after it resolved issues with its Blythe H2 well.