Bargain Booze owner Conviviality reveals shock £30m tax bill

Clouds gather as Conviviality 'identifies' US$40m tax bill

Conviviality issues second profit warning as it reveals surprise £30m tax bill

Shares in Conviviality PLC were suspended from trading Wednesday as it considers its funding requirements in order to pay an unexpected tax bill which could further hit an already revised down full-year profit forecast.

In a statement issued today (14 March), the owner of Bibendum PLB and Matthew Clark, stated that it had, "identified a payment due to HM Revenue & Customs of approximately £30.0 million which falls due for payment on 29 March 2018 and which has not been accrued for within its short term cash flow projections".

The company said the payment has "created a short term funding requirement" and the current situation creates "operational difficulties that may negatively impact" its earnings.

It said EBITDA was now expected to be in the range of £55.3 million to £56.4 million, below previously prevailing market expectations of between £69.1 million and £70.5 million.

It added: "This includes, as set out in the announcement, the impact of the error in the financial forecasts of the Conviviality Direct business and the assumption that the margin weakness seen in January and February continues for the remainder of the current financial year". Conviviality said today that its guidance for net debt of about £150m for the 52-week period ending April 29 remained unchanged.

Following a trading update last week, more than £300 million was wiped off Conviviality's value.

In January this year Conviviality reported a 13% drop in pre-tax half-year profits.

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