Regulator widens scope of probe into Blackburn toilet roll maker

The financial regulator has widened the scope of its ongoing investigation into Blackburn toilet roll maker Accrol.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange today Accrol said the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) has notified the firm that the period it is investigating has been revised from April 1, 2017, to November 20, 2017, to June 10, 2016 to September 30, 2018.

This covers the period from the date Accrol’s share capital was admitted to trading on AIM to the date the company’s audited accounts for the year ended April 30, 2018, were made public.

Accrol said: “The 2018 accounts identified misstatements in the previously published accounts for the period May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017.”

The company first announced that it was under investigation on January 21, earlier this year, leading to a sharp fall in its share value.

The brief statement said: “The Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) has notified Accrol that it has commenced an investigation into the company relating to certain statements that it made to the market between 1 April 2017 and 20 November 2017. Accrol is cooperating fully with the FCA.”

During the period under investigation shares were suspended on the Stock Market and jobs were cut.

Over the period being investigated Accrol issued a string of press releases and statements.

The Stock Market announcements included trading updates, its full-year results, the appointment of its chief executive, the suspension and subsequent restoration of trading on AIM, and an update on a health and safety incident.

One trading update issued in October 2017 announced that Accrol suspended its shares as it warned it was experiencing “more challenging trading conditions”.

This was accompanied by an expectation that its 2018 financial performance would be “significantly below existing market forecasts”.