Slater and Gordon suspends trading ahead of profit announcement
Listed Australian firm Slater and Gordon has requested a suspension in share trading ahead of a major financial announcement next week.
The voluntary suspension was announced on the Australian stock exchange this morning, pending the publication of financial results for the last six months of 2015, due out on Monday.
The company, listed as Slater and Gordon Holdings (SGH) said ‘certain material items’ in the half-year results are not yet finalised, including testing and assessment of ‘goodwill values’ in the UK market.
The announcement said: ‘SGH continues to work with its auditors and external advisers to finalise and confirm those material items, and is not in a position to make an announcement until that work is concluded.
‘SGH considers it appropriate that it enters into voluntary suspension so that it can manage its continuous disclosure obligations in the above matters and to avoid trading in its shares happening on a basis that is not reasonably informed.’
The half-year results have been eagerly awaited since December when the firm downgraded profit forecasts after experiencing slower case resolutions than expected. Slater and Gordon was also considering writing down the book value of its UK business after the government announced potential reforms to the personal injury market.
The firm, which claims to be the best-known law firm brand in the UK, maintained it had more than A$100m (£51m) ‘headroom’ in its banking facilities.
Two Australian firms, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and ACA Lawyers, have already said they are considering class actions on behalf of Slater and Gordon shareholders.
The share price fell around 90% during 2015 and, despite some signs of recovery, closed this morning at A$0.83, almost the same value as at the turn of the year.