Amira Nature Foods, the UAE-based packaged rice supplier, has revealed a 17% fall in half-year sales in a set of accounts delayed by a change in auditors and allegations over the company’s financials.
The publication of Amira’s results for the six months to 30 September 2015 had been held up by a change in the appointment of new auditors and a re-audit of three years of the group’s accounts. US-listed Amira has also been fighting in court claims from Wall Street research firm Prescience Point about the company’s financial statements.
Amira reported a 17.3% fall in revenue to US$231.7m. The company pointed to “temporary short term challenges”, including the re-audits, litigation with Prescience Point and, looking at the industry, “trends toward lower pricing”.
Adjusted EBITDA was US$30.5m, compared to US$38.8m. Net profit stood at US$9.2m, versus US$19.6m a year earlier.
CFO Bruce Wacha said: “We faced an extremely challenging first half of fiscal 2016 which included current industry trends toward lower pricing, currency translation, three years of re-audits, certain litigations and other temporary short term related business disruptions that required increased financial resources and management time. Nonetheless, we were able to maintain our EBITDA margins at their historical levels and remain profitable. Our business began to recover in the fourth quarter of our fiscal year. We are committed to enhancing our customer relationships and returning to growth.”
The re-audits did not lead to any material changes of Amira’s accounts compared to what the company had previously reported despite Prescience Point’s allegations. The company’s new auditor reviewed the allegations by Prescience Point and them to be unsubstantiated.
Amira’s results for the year to the end of March this year are scheduled to be published in July.