August 24: Isoft has confirmed that the FSA is investigating its accounting irregularities, as the Guardian reported this morning. However, I suspect that, given its remit, the FSA is looking particularly at the company’s disclosures to the market. Surely the Financial Reporting Council should be involved, too?
We have a lot of results today. The more interesting ones include those from Rentokil Initial, the company in the throes of a restructuring under the new chief executive, Doug Flynn. He reported a 7 per cent drop in first-half pre-tax profits and said he was on track with his plans. Flynn dropped by the FT this morning and was his usually jolly, upbeat self. Investors, however, were less positive: the shares are off more than 4 per cent.
Also interesting are the interim figures from Ladbrokes. The numbers themselves are fine (boosted by the World Cup), but the company is warning about slow growth from its betting shops over the year ahead and is wisely putting US expansion plans on hold. Amazingly, Ladbrokes seems to have made exactly the same amount out of the World Cup as William Hill – £17.5m. What are the odds?
Channel Four’s chief executive Andy Duncan has ruled himself out of the running to succeed Charles Allen at ITV. He issued a press release to this effect (”In the event of a formal approach I intend to make it clear that I do not wish to be considered for the post,” he said in a statement). Oh, the egos of the media industry. Michael Jackson, a former chief executive of Channel Four and BBC2 controller, says he is not interested either. With Allen giving a speech tomorrow at the Edinburgh International TV Festival, there should be plenty for them all to talk about.
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