Keller sacks two over suspected fraud

Keller at work on a Melbourne Metro tunnel in Australia (Courtesy of Keller)
London-listed geotechnical specialist Keller Group has summarily dismissed two staff after it identified fraud in its Austral Business Unit in Australia.

It said an internal review found “an apparently deliberate and sophisticated financial reporting fraud” related to the overstatement of Austral’s performance from 2019.

The company is appointing an external adviser to investigate.

Austral contributes some 3% of Keller Group revenue.

Keller estimates the impact of the fraud on the group’s historical operating profits to be around £6m related to the first half of 2022, and £8m to £10m relating to prior years.

It said it expects to report a full-year operating profit “slightly below the bottom end of the range of market expectations”.

The board’s expectations for 2023 remain unchanged.

Further details will be set out with the 2022 full-year results on 7 March.

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