June 12, 2017 / 6:58 AM / 6 months ago

Britain's Mitie swings to loss after restating accounts

June 12 (Reuters) - British outsourcing company Mitie swung to a full-year operating loss on Monday after it restated its accounts following a review prompted by a string of profit warnings last year.

The provider of pest control, property cleaning, security and ancillary healthcare undertook a review of its accounts and strategy after issuing three profit warnings in a year, blaming uncertainty surrounding Brexit and rising costs. nL5N1F81AV]

Mitie reported an adjusted operating loss of 42.9 million pounds ($54.8 million) for the year ended March 31, down from a restated year-ago profit of 107.6 million pounds. Adjusted operating profit fell 13.9 percent to 82 million pounds.

The company restated year-ago results and booked a writedown in May, after its accounts review found the way it booked work-in-progress on long-term contracts and costs relating to contracts was less conservative than rivals.

The company said it would not pay a final dividend. Its full-year dividend for this year was 4 pence compared with 12.1 pence a year ago.

Mitie said on Monday announced a 45 million pound cost efficiency programme and a partnership with Microsoft to invest in technology to meet changing customer needs.

Chief Executive Phil Bentley, who took over as CEO in December after Ruby McGregor-Smith’s departure, said it had been a “challenging” year for Mitie, but he expressed confidence for the year ahead citing a strong order book and a growing pipeline of contracts.

The company said it expected a return to modest growth in underlying profit this year.

“With our new investment strategy, we believe that there is a significant opportunity to transform Mitie into a more focused, higher growth/higher margin business,” Mitie said. ($1 = 0.7835 pounds) (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens)

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