By Dipo Olowookere
An automobile company listed on the trading platform of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), R.T. Briscoe Nigeria Plc, has been slammed with a huge monetary fine.
A document sighted by Business Post over the weekend showed that the company was slapped with a sanction to the tune of N22.1 million.
It was gathered that the fine was placed on the firm for its failure to file its financial statements at the due time as required by the listing rules.
Recall that RT Briscoe and five other companies on the exchange were the first set to be suspended by the exchange this year. They were suspended on September 1, 2020.
For the auto firm, trading in its shares was paused by the NSE over its failure to submit its audited financial statements for the 2019 financial year and the results for the first and second quarters of 2020.
After the embargo on the trading of its equities, the organisation took an action by releasing them, which made the suspension to be lifted in compliance with the listing rules.
However, for not doing the needful at the appropriate time, the stock exchange has fined the company and this is expected to be paid from the purse of the organisation.
It was gathered that for filing its 2019 earnings late, the company has been asked to pay a fine of N8.3 million, while the late submission of its Q1 2020 results attracted N8.5 million and the late filing of the Q2 2020 accounts attracted N5.3 million.
Business Post reports that RT Briscoe has been going through a rough time lately.
In its 2019 results, its auditors, PKF Professional Services, warned that the company may be forced to wind down over its inability to meet its obligations because it is not generating enough funds.
According to PKF Professional Services, the group’s current liabilities exceeded its current assets by N14.8 billion versus N13.4 billion in 2018, while its total liabilities exceeded its total assets by N9.5 billion compared with N8.2 billion in 2018.
“Due to the losses incurred over the years, the shareholders’ fund has been totally eroded to the tune of N9.4 billion deficit as at December 31, 2019,” the note from the auditors said.
The auditors had further said the bank overdrafts of RT Briscoe as December 31, 2019, stood at N15 billion, representing 86 per cent of the total liabilities which is significant in the consolidated financial statements.
“The company has not been able to repay the bank overdraft and this has led to winding-up cases by the banks and other creditors.
“There are also issues on penalty charges by the banks. The significant, in relation to the inability to repay the borrowings which led to court litigations and also the going concern issues, make it a key audit matter,” the auditors said in the report.
It has been opined that the latest fine of N22.1 million of the NSE on the company may further compound the woes of RT Briscoe, according to an investor in the nation’s stock market.
“This is not good for the company, especially the shareholders’, who value have been eroded,” Mr Adegbite Salami, informed Business Post on Monday.
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