UK’s Keller Group warns on profit after financial reporting fraud at unit

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Analysts, on average, expect a full-year operating profit in the range of 109 million pounds to 114 million pounds ($138.36 million), according to a consensus provided by the company.

Shares in the mid-cap company were down nearly 5%, as of 0819 GMT.

Keller said the fraud is linked to an overstatement of the unit’s performance from 2019 onwards, and estimated the impact of the fraud to be 6 million pounds in the first half of 2022 and 8 million -10 million pounds in previous years.

An internal investigation is underway and two individuals were fired immediately after an internal review, the company said, adding that it is looking to appoint an external consultant to launch an independent investigation.

“We responded quickly and decisively to a serious issue in one of our business units and a full investigation is underway,” said CEO Michael Speakman.

The Austral business contributes around 3% to the group’s revenue. The company maintained its forecast for 2023.

($1 = 0.8239 pounds)

(Reporting by Anchal Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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