AKVA group blames new employee for accounting mistake. Now the whole company is going through a capability evaluation

Editorial staff

“We believe this is a special circumstance, but we can always learn and improve,” says AKVA group CEO Knut Nesse after unreported losses of EUR 6.9 million were discovered in two Danish affiliates.

Friday the equipment supplier sent out a stock exchange report on the accounting break, stating that significant losses in projects were not revealed in the result.

Knut Nesse, who became permanent CEO of AKVA group in December, went after the Norwegian business newspaper Dagens Næringsliv after the stock exchange announcement and said that the accounting breach was due to “incompetence of a new employee”.

According to Nesse, this person is no longer an employee at the company. To Intrafish, Nesse stated that the incident was linked to the inability of a finance officer.

SalmonBusiness has asked Nesse a number of questions over e-mail, including how long the employee had worked in the company, and what was actually done wrong when losses were not reported.

“Details about this case are internal circumstances which we can not comment on,” Nesse replies in the email.

The mistake should have been discovered after January 20th when a stock exchange notice was issued with a profit warning from the company. According to Nesse, it was the company’s internal control and audit procedures that revealed the serious error in accounting.

“This was declared to the market soon after the inspection was complete and all figures were quality assured,” Nesse writes.

We also asked Nesse why the management had not previously identified the error, but the question remains unanswered.

Nesse is nevertheless aware that the company is pleased that internal control procedures are in place, but is now presenting further steps to prevent something similar from happening again.

“We believe this is a special circumstance, but we can always learn and improve. This is why we have decided to hire external help to carry out a capability evaluation of the company. We have great growth ambitions and want to give the best to our customers. The capability evaluation will help us identify which subject areas and functions we have to strengthen to fulfil our ambitions,” Nesse concludes.

AKVA group presents its fourth-quarter 2019 results this Friday.