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Small cap movers: Goals Soccer Centres given a red card by AIM after unearthing massive tax bill

A look back at some of the more interesting stories from the junior market over the past week

Red card
The 5-a-side pitch operator had its shares suspended on Wednesday

To quote US founding father Benjamin Franklin, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”.

The latter was certainly proving true this week for Goals Soccer Centres PLC (LON:GOAL), which was suspended from AIM on Wednesday after its new auditor unearthed a massive unpaid tax bill.

The 5-a-side pitch operator said it had found a “substantial misdeclaration of VAT, going back over several years” and would enter into talks with the HMRC immediately.

While the final tax bill stemming from the “historical accounting errors” is yet to be determined, the current amount stands at about £12mln, and could potentially increase as the probe continues.

Goals also warned that the tax misdeclaration could lead to a “material change” in its overall financial position.

However, investors would probably have seen this coming as back on 8 March the group had highlighted errors in its accounts which meant its results for 2018 would be materially below previous expectations, with the shares having lost around half their value since then.

Goals appointed firm BDO as its new auditor in June 2018, with the adjustments following a review of how its accounts are calculated.

To make matters worse, the company said it was now also in breach of one of its banking covenants and was in talks with lenders.

The developments will be an extra headache for one of the firm’s major shareholders, infamous Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley, who holds an 18.9% stake.

Ashley will have seen around £4.1mln wiped from the value of his investment in Goals since the initial announcement of the accounting errors.

However, given he is potentially facing a complete wipeout of his nearly 30% stake in struggling department store chain Debenhams, Goals is likely to be the least of his worries.

Speaking of past errors, Mirriad Advertising Plc (LON:MIRI) saw its shares tank 32% to 6.8p this week after it revealed that its go-to-market strategy had “historically been flawed" as that it was spread over too many markets.

As a result, the company is looking to narrow its focus on to core markets, including the US, the UK, Germany, France and China.

Cloud-based software firm Cloudcall Group PLC (LON:CALL) slumped 19% to 84p after shareholders were left unimpressed by a wider annual loss on the back of more money being invested into the business.

A profit warning drove shareholders away from entertainment content provider Mobile Streams PLC (LON:MOS), with shares plunging 29% to 0.25p after it warned revenues for the second half of its current year would be lower than expected.

It was a similar story for agribusiness Zambeef Products PLC (LON:ZAM), which had its share price chopped by 9.6% to 9.8p after its profits for 2019 were predicted to be over a third lower than the market expected.

Meanwhile, recruitment consultancy Parity Group PLC (LON:PTY) tumbled 11.6% to 7.7p after the Scottish government decided not to renew a staff placement contract with the firm.

The AIM All-Share was up 0.45% at 914 points in the week, while the FTSE 100 was 0.63% higher at 7,253.

Toilet roll maker Accrol Group Holdings PLC (LON:ACRL) was under the cosh after the Financial Conduct Authority widened its investigation into statements it made to the market between June 2016 and September last year.

However, the market seemed to give the company a reprieve, with Accrol’s shares managed to recover from an initial plunge to end the week around 2.3% higher at 22p.

Meanwhile, music downloads group 7digital Group PLC (LON:7DIG) continued to stage an impressive turnaround following a restructuring at the start of the year, with shares up 21% at 1.3p after it signed deals with multimedia content group ACCESS and copyright technology firm Dubset.

Shares in smoke alarm maker FireAngel Safety Technology Group PLC (LON:FA.) were flying 5% higher at 21p after it revealed sales in the first three months of 2019 had been ahead of its budget.

Antenna maker MTI Wireless Edge Ltd (LON:MWE) was up 3.6% at 23p after inking a $1mln (£763,249) contract with one of its customers for military antennas.

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