Knutsford’s flawed audited statements

KnutsIf the Jamaica Stock Exchange and the Financial Services Commission have the interest of investors at the forefront for protection they would demand the total withdrawal Knutsford Express’ audited reports for 2014 and 2015. The audited statements for both years, are filled with errors or questionable treatment of transactions, raising questions about the accuracy of the entire reports.
The report for 2015 has profit of $69 million or 69 cents per share versus $50 million in 2014 or $1.07 cents per share after deferred taxation of $5 million (2014: $5.6 million). Revenues amount to $454 million, a big 38 percent increase over the $329 million in 2014. Problem is that the earnings per share for 2014 is overstated due to inaccurate computation of the average number of shares issued in 2013. Further, the audited statement while showing earnings per share of $1.07 for 2014 in the income statement, goes on to state erroneously by way of a note, that “using the weighted average number of shares at end of 2015 would result in earnings being 50 cents for 2014”.
Since Knutsford is not taxable for the next 4 years it is difficult to see why the company would need to compute differed tax charge when whatever timing difference is likely to be less than 4 years on which no tax would be payable, the report does not give details so it is difficult to determine what items would result in such differences, but a look at the detailed expenses suggest that at best it would be a one year difference hence there is no need to book the differed tax.
JSE signThe audited financial report states “During January 2014, the Company raised additional capital of $99,862,700 from its initial public offering of 99,999,003 shares for its enlistment on the Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market”. This of course is completely wrong since the company issued 26 million bonus shares in 2013. While the public offering was for 20,000,000 ordinary shares, only 4,867,338 shares were offered by the company and 15,132,662 shares were existing shares of the pre IPO shareholders. At the time the IPO came, 95,132,662 ordinary shares were already issued, the average number of shares should be around 60 million rather than 46.8 million used to compute the 2014 EPS which would have worked out around 83 cents. That is around what it is and should be reported as. In addition there is no need to re-compute this figure and the 100 million shares in existence won’t change it one bit.
In the taxation note it states that the company at the end of 5 years “is required to delist and pay all exempted taxes within 5 years or opt to list on the main exchange for the next 5 years to maintain tax exemption received in the last 5 years. That seems to be stated incorrectly, IC Insider went to the manager of the stock exchange for clarification.
“ Those companies that have been given five (5) years will have to remain listed for 10 years as compared to 15 years had they been given 10 years incentive. They are not compelled though to migrate to the main market but can remain on the Junior Market if they are in compliance with capitalization and other Junior Market requirements”, the Stock Exchange reply stated.
Knuts signThe junior market rules require a mentor for these companies. One reason is to ensure that slip up like the above don’t happen. The issue begs the question what are the board of directors doing, after all they sign off on the financial report, they should ensure that information included that they are aware of, are not incorrectly stated.
Income statement| It would have been very informative if the profit and loss statement carried cost relating to functions such as direct operating cost, marketing and sales rather than all cost being lumped into administrative and other expenses, then one would easily see how the operating side of the business is doing before administrative cost.
But other questions remain, the listing of expenses show employer’s statutory payroll contributions at $31.84 million for 2015 and $16.58 million in 2014 versus salaries and related expenses at $86.86 million in 2015 and $54.65 million in 2014, these work out at 27 percent and 33 percent respectively. That of course cannot be correct as it should not be more than roughly 10 percent for Education taxes, National Housing Trust, Heart and National Insurance.

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