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Ted Baker’s accounting blunder worse than previously thought

Struggling fashion chain Ted Baker has announced the accounting blunder it revealed last year, in which it overstated the value of its stock, was more than twice as big as initially estimated.

The British fashion retailer, which did not elaborate on the reasons for the miscalculation of the stock’s value, appointed accountants from Deloitte last month “to undertake a comprehensive review of its stock inventory position”.

The estimate by the business consultants at Deloitte was £58 million ($111.1 million), more than double the previous calculation of £20 million to £25 million.

The overstated assets were a non-cash item related to previous years. 

Ted Baker said Wednesday that Deloitte has concluded its review of the business and it is expecting to update the market further of its results soon.

In the announcement, the company did not mention an update on its profit guidance for the 2019-2020 financial year.   

The miscalculation is the latest in a long line of problems to hit the British fashion brand.

Its founder and former chief executive Ray Kelvin resigned last March after allegations of misconduct.

Employees had launched an online petition in December 2018 accusing him of inappropriate comments and conduct, including forced hugging.

Kelvin has denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

His replacement as chief executive, Lindsay Page, resigned in December together with Ted Baker’s executive chairman David Bernstein after the retailer issued four profit warnings in 2019.

The company’s finance director Rachel Osborne, who joined Ted Baker from Debenhams in September, replaced Page in the interim.

In October last year, the retailer posted its first half-year loss in more than 20 years, saying trading in the first half had been worse than expected.

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