The operating units of scandal-hit Italian food group Parmalat reportedly made a pre-tax loss of at least €351m (US$433.8m) for the first nine months of 2003, compared to the pre-tax profit of €304m that was reported by the company's management.

The ongoing investigations into Parmalat's accounts could reveal an even wider loss than that detailed in a preliminary review by accountancy firm PwC, reported the Financial times

According to these latest documents, the discrepancies are due to fictitious transactions claimed by Bonlat, a Cayman Islands-based financial subsidiary.

Up to 27 former Parmalat executives and board members could be indicted as part of the investigation into a multi-billion-euro hole in Parmalat's accounts. Some charges, such as fraud, may not be brought for another year as the whereabouts of some of the missing billions is still unclear. Half of the missing amount is believed to be due to hidden operating losses, while the other half has still not been explained, FT reported.