LONDON — Shares in the U.K. supermarket chain Tesco Plc closed down 2.4 percent Monday afternoon to 1.81 pounds, or $2.83, after the U.K.’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said Monday that it had launched an investigation into the preparation, approval and audit of the supermarket chain’s accounts for the fiscal years ending February 2012, February 2013 and February 2014.
The investigation follows the launch of the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into Tesco’s accounting practices announced in October, after the chain said earlier this year that it had overstated its expected first-half profits by 263 million pounds, or $410 million. Tesco’s chairman Sir Richard Broadbent has since stepped from the retailer following the admission, while a number of other executives have reportedly left the company, too.
The FRC is the U.K.’s independent investigative and disciplinary body for accountants and actuaries. A spokesman for Tesco said in a statement Monday: “We note the Financial Reporting Council is launching an investigation into individuals and a member firm in relation to the preparation, approval and audit of our accounts for the last three years. We will provide support to the FRC’s investigation.”
PwC, Tesco’s accountancy firm, said in a separate statement Monday: “We take our responsibilities very seriously and remain committed to delivering work to the highest professional standards. We will cooperate fully with the FRC in its enquiries.”